MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated she has no plans of becoming President.
"Wala naman akong interes na mag-pangulo," she said in a brief interview with reporters on Friday, December 9. "I just want this administration to succeed pero mahalaga na pakinggan din nila ang dissenting voices."
(I have no interest to become president. I just want this administration to succeed but it is also important for them to listen to dissenting voices.)
Robredo was responding directly to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's statement on Friday that Robredo should stop "thinking of the presidency" and instead help in the government's programs.
Following her resignation from the Cabinet as chief of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Robredo said that she intends to lead the opposition if this entails expressing her views on national policies she does not agree with.
"What I hope to achieve is to unify all voices so that there is only one voice that the President will listen to, so we can be heard," said the recently resigned Housing czar in Filipino. "Because I have a feeling that we are not heard."
She also stressed that expressing her opposition does not necessarily mean she is impeding the success of government.
"For this administration, it is also important to listen to dissenting voices. Dissenting doesn't mean we want to be president. President Duterte has the mandate of the Filipinos. I think it is our obligation to support him, but we will be encouraged to support him if we feel our opposition on some issues is heard."
Among the policies Robredo is against are the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery and the war against drugs, which has resulted in over 5,800 dead in police operations and unexplained summary killings from July 1 to December 3. (READ: LIST: Where Duterte and Robredo part ways)
She also opposes the restoration of the death penalty, which breezed past committee level in the House of Representatives without sufficient debate. (READ: Robredo: Death penalty bill rushed to fulfill Duterte's wishes)