Staying healthy important for public officials – Robredo

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Staying healthy important for public officials â Robredo
“We have an obligation to the people to serve in the best way we can,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino during an interview in Iloilo.
Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo stressed yesterday the importance of staying healthy, especially for public officials.

“We have an obligation to the people to serve in the best way we can,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino during an interview in Iloilo.

“Since I became the Vice President, I have exerted a lot of effort to make sure that I’m healthy, because getting sick will take you away from work,” she said.

The 56-year-old rarely took a leave from work due to health reasons, even when she had to undergo mandatory quarantine after exposure to people who tested positive for COVID-19. She tested negative for the viral illness.

President Duterte, 76, had been hounded by health issues since assuming the presidency, at times even disclosing ailments such as a rare nerve condition and Barrett’s esophagus ailment that he said may progress to cancer.

Despite this, his spokespersons have repeatedly claimed that the President is in good condition. The Supreme Court also junked a petition to compel Malacañang to regularly release medical bulletins on Duterte.

Robredo addressed the issue of health among public officials, following a bike activity at the Iloilo River Esplanade with her running mate Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

During the interview, she reiterated her commitment to promote active transportation if elected president.

“It is good to see that the lifestyle of people here changed because of the existence of bike lanes. This is what I dream of for the entire Philippines, especially in Metro Manila where we saw the need especially during the pandemic,” she added.

Earlier, Robredo proposed increasing the funding for bike lanes from the current budget of P1.6 billion to around P14 billion.

This, she said, will also boost economic activity that can help the country recover from the pandemic.

In an interview last Friday, Robredo reiterated her position against purely military solutions to address country’s insurgency problem.

The Vice President was asked about the recent military operations in Iloilo, including an air strike, which human rights groups said violates international humanitarian laws.

“I am very consistent with my stand that insurgency will not be resolved with purely military solutions,” she said, stressing the need to address core issues.

“After you address the core issues, you have to address the peripheral issues. That’s why for me, even with all the killings and infighting, you cannot solve the problem if you do not address the core issues,” she said.

Robredo also stressed the importance of looking into human rights concerns, saying those who committed abuse or exceeded their mandate should be held accountable.

“It is important to have platforms that will listen to those complaints… Because if we do not hold (those who committed abuse) accountable, that will serve as the basis of the next engagements,” she added.

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