By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo’s remarks that the country is now going through a “dark period” stemmed from her previous trips in far-flung provinces, where she saw many Filipinos suffering from dire poverty, her office said on Monday.
The Office of the Vice President, through its legal adviser Barry Gutierrez, responded to Malacañang’s claim that Robredo was “out of touch” with the “existing realities on the ground.”
“I do not know what the daily reality of my good friend Harry Roque is,“ said Gutierrez, a former lawmaker.
“Apparently, the view from his new Malacañang office is very different from that which many less fortunate, less empowered Filipinos must face every day,” he added.
The OVP was reacting to the statement of Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who said that “genuine and meaningful change” have been felt by the Filipino people.
Roque said the Vice President may be referring to the “future of those discredited politicians who wish to return to power.”
But Gutierrez pointed to Robredo’s “rich and varies experience” during her several trips around the country that determined her “reality.”
An advocate of the poor, the Vice President has traveled to far-flung and poorest communities to help those in the marginalized sector since she assumed in June 2016.
Robredo dedicated greater parts of her term reaching out to the poor through her flagship anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay.
“VP Leni has made over a hundred visits to the various communities that the OVP has extended assistance to,” said Gutierrez, a lawyer.
“She has met with thousands of Filipinos from all walks of life — from farmers in Nueva Ecija to weavers in Ifugao, community organizers in Bukidnon to business leaders in Makati, seminarians in Lipa to soldiers in Marawi,” he noted.
It was during the 72nd anniversary of the once-ruling Liberal Party on Friday when Robredo remarked that “darkness” is enveloping the country. She even called on the remaining members of LP to continue fighting for their beliefs amid the darkness shrouding the nation.
“Many ask us if there is still hope, where we are headed. Darkness envelops us. But we should not lose hope. Our party history is about fighting,” Robredo told members of the LP, which she chairs.