MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo took a dig Tuesday at Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for spreading fake news, warning his actuations could erode the people’s trust in the government.
Robredo also raised alarm over posturing of some government agencies and institutions questioning the Constitution, such as Congress itself.
‘We have a Department of Justice whose head himself is not being truthful. I think that is worrisome because it is the very department that is mandated to ensure that justice will prevail for all of us. The last thing we want to see is our people losing their trust and confidence in this institution.’
“Meron tayong Department of Justice na ‘yung head mismo, may mga sinasabing hindi totoo. Tingin ko nakakatakot yan, kase ang Department of Justice, dapat sya yung nangunguna at sinisiguro na (We have a Department of Justice whose head himself is not being truthful. I think that is worrisome because it is the very department that is mandated to ensure) justice will prevail for all of us. The last thing we want to see is our people losing their trust and confidence in this institution,” she told reporters in an interview in Batangas.
Aguirre recently linked several lawmakers to the Maute terrorist group, which turned out to be fake news.
The Vice President also lamented that recent statements by Congress leaders have challenged the Constitution.
“Nakakatakot kasi ‘pag government agencies na or government instrumentalities yung hindi naniniwala sa nakalagay sa Constitution, ang nacha-challenge na sa atin ay ang democracy mismo (When it’s government institutions or instrumentalities that are turning their backs on the Constitution, it is our democracy itself that is being challenged),” she said.
Recently, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senator Vicente Sotto III have raised the possibility of a constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court orders Congress to convene in joint session to discuss the martial law proclamation in Mindanao.
Alvarez had said they would defy the order if the high court grants the petition of several groups seeking the convening of a joint session.
Robredo said officials should set aside politicking and instead face the challenges confronting the country.
“Marami tayong hinaharap na mga problem ngayon bilang bansa, hindi ito panahon para pag-usapan iyong politika. Hindi panahon para sabihin natin kakampi ko sya o hindi ko sya kakampi. Pero panahon ito na tayo-tayo magkapareho man ang pulitika natin o hindi, pagtulungan natin na siguruhin na pinapangalagaan natin ang demokrasya na matagal nating nakamtam, pinapangalagaan natin na iyong mga institusyon na magpro-protect ng ating karapatan ay patuloy na magiging matatag (We are confronted by so many problems as a nation. This is not the time to play politics, to say who is on who’s side. This is the time to set aside politics and strengthen democracy, protect our institutions.),” Robredo said.