Vice President Leonora “Leni” Robredo is “out of touch” with reality, Malacanang said on Sunday.
“With all due respect to the Vice President, we find Ms. Robredo’s remarks during the anniversary of the Liberal Party completely out of touch with the existing realities on the ground,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
“Genuine and meaningful change has been felt by our people. The darkness that Vice President Robredo may be referring to perhaps pertains to the future of those discredited politicians who wish to return to power,” said Roque.
The Philippines under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is the third happiest country in the world in the Gallup International report, and the fifth highest country in terms of economic optimism index also in the Gallup International report.
Roque said 96 of Filipinos entered the new year with hope – the highest recorded since 2002, as cited by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
He said fewer Filipino families considered themselves poor or “mahirap” as cited also by the SWS survey.
“People’s high levels of hope and optimism have been complemented by high satisfaction, approval, trust ratings,” said Roque.
Roque also stold Robredo to consider the following.
First, more than eight out of ten Filipinos trust the President, according to the last quarter 2017 SWS survey.
Second, Duterte is the most approved (at 80 percent) and the most trusted (at 82 percent ) among the top national officials of this country, according to the last quarter 2017 Pulse Asia survey.
Third, satisfaction with the Duterte administration is excellent (at +70) – the highest recorded for the administration in the last 28 years, according to the last quarter 2017 SWS survey.
Fourth, net satisfaction rating of the Duterte cabinet remains the highest since 1990 at + 32, according, according to the last quarter 2017 SWS survey.
Robredo had earlier rallied the remaining members of the Liberal Party to remain true to what is right and not lose heart in the face of the “darkness” shrouding the nation.
Wearing black during the party’s 72nd anniversary celebration, Robredo lauded members who remained with the once-powerful party despite its waning influence under the Duterte administration.
“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.
Robredo also lauded new party members for having “the courage to join up. At a time when many people are ashamed of having been members of the party, you are still here, standing, fighting for your beliefs.”
Robredo noted that LP’s membership also dwindled during the Marcos regime.
“It seems history is repeating itself. But it wasn’t the numbers that mattered then. What mattered was the strength of our conviction. What mattered was how strongly we fought,” she said.
“In the end, what is right always wins. But what is right will only prevail if we don’t stop fighting for it,” the Vice President added.
As with all Filipino political parties, the LP lost most of its members since Duterte assumed office with many of LP members, including some of its highest ranking leaders, jumping ship to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which replaced the LP as the ruling party.
But LP has since changed its strategy from recruiting politicians to signing up people from the grassroots. “While some of our members are leaving the party, it is not true that the party will disappear. Our party will grow stronger because you are joining us,” said LP president, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who welcomed new members in Cebu City.
“We in the Liberal Party, have been through hell and back. And we in the Liberal Party, to borrow and paraphrase the words from the poet Dylan Thomas: ‘We will not go quietly into this dark night’,” he said.
“The future of the party does not rest on politicians, but on the people. It’s time to be a party of the people. A party composed of the people,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, one of the party’s four incumbent senators.