Fakes and Props
Leni Robredo has often been cited as saying that she opposes President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. Yet what is curious about the vice president, a lawyer, is that she has never made any move other than issue statements claiming her opposition. In fact, shortly after Ms. Robredo resigned from the Cabinet, she told CNN that she promises to make a louder opposition to the drug war.
In similar fashion, the beleaguered Sen. Leila De lima filed cases against the President, particularly seeking from the Supreme Court the issuance of a writ of habeas data, allegedly to stop the President from using surveillance or other clandestine methods to obtain information on her. However, considering the fairly iron-clad constitutional guarantee of the president’s immunity from suit, one cannot help but come to the conclusion that the suit is filed more for acoustic rather than any punitive or restraining effect.
Yet it appears that such is the standing of these two women that mere statements on their part merit extensive coverage, despite the lack of any real or effective action. This has led to one broadsheet columnist to quip that Robredo’s PR people have her making statements on matters that don’t really concern her, for the sake of keeping her in the news. De lima’s statement in Germany saying the Filipino people elected a self-confessed serial killer, was likewise met with criticism.
Yet in all this noise what have these two women really accomplished?
Both are lawyers, yet none of them have filed a suit against any member of the Philippine National Police, the primary force in the war on drugs. This same war has come under scathing attack from them and the Liberal Party, both of which have criticized the heavy civilian casualties born out of Operation Tokhang, this so-called war’s strategic impetus. But, it has been all talk.
Talk and no action. And if this sounds familiar it is the same criticism levelled against Leni Robredo for her lackluster performance in the HUDCC.
They have talked about the victims ad nauseam. Talked about the appalling statistics. But neither one of them appears to have had enough sympathy to actually go to a wake, speak to the families of the victims or even file a suit on their behalf. And this is perhaps what is most bothersome about all the press statements made by these two women. They are merely using these victims in their crusade against President Rodrigo Duterte, they are props in the campaign allegedly in the defense of human rights. And that is why neither one of these two women can rouse an ounce of sympathy for their cause.