When the Marawi terrorist siege first broke, the first reaction of the opposition was to question why President Duterte was in Russia. As if he knew what was going to happen before he left for his state visit. Nevertheless, he cut his visit short so he could deal with the situation in Mindanao.
When Duterte was absent from the Independence Day ceremonial rites at Luneta, the opposition rumormongers and intrigue warriors didn’t waste time in criticizing the president and went as far as manufacturing rumors, not the least of which was that the president was “in a coma,” or was dealing with some very serious life and death issue.
But when VP Leni Robredo was vacationing in the U.S. while a strong typhoon was devastating her own hometown, the opposition had no problem giving her a pass when she said she could not get a differently-scheduled return flight to the Philippines.
Now, while her supporters are being extremely critical of Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao because of the Marawi siege, they are again extremely quiet — and forgiving I might say — about the fact that Robredo is now in Southern California as a guest of honor in some symphony gala.
Sure, it’s a personal appearance that’s long been scheduled. So who cares if a city in Mindanao is now in ruins because of some terrorist attack, or if citizens are now facing some crisis as a result of evacuations from their beleaguered city.
And Robredo has the gall to appeal for donations for the relief of the Marawi siege victims? Yeah, it’s easy to initiate a public relations campaign that would show that she is concerned about the victims — despite the fact that she and her office are practically encroaching on the programs and responsibilities of the appropriate government agencies.
So while Marawi City burns and deals with ruins, while residents flee their homes, Robredo is in California, perhaps listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and wining and dining with FilAms who still believe that she is the heir apparent to the Philippine presidency.
And of course, the yellow media will be as equally silent about the repercussions of this Robredo junket as the her well-funded propaganda machine.