Liberal Party vice presidential candidate and Camarines Sur representative Leni Robredo said on Sunday that if she wins in the upcoming national elections, she would suggest to the new President to appoint a new person with a fresh perspective to man the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
Responding to a question during the “Harapan ng Bise” Vice Presidential Debate hosted by the television network ABS-CBN, Robredo said that the next President should not get from those who have previously held cabinet positions.
Her main contention is that people who have held the position in the past may not have fresh ideas to address the problems at the DOTC.
Though she did not explicitly mention DOTC secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, Robredo said: "Ako po wala akong maisip na pangalan ngayon dahil hindi ko naman po kilala lahat pero ako po, hindi siguro tayo magha-hire nung mga dati nang Cabinet Secretaries."
“Yung taong-bayan ang nagbebenepisyo pag parating fresh yung mga ideas, pag bago ang nagiisip dahil nakikita from a different perspective,” Robredo added.
The running mate of Sec. Mar Roxas, who held the DOTC post before being transferred to the DILG, also said that she would suggest to the next President to form a search committee to really check on a person’s experience to make sure that the people will be the ones benefiting.
The DOTC under the watch of Sec. Abaya had been embroiled in several issues including the several breakdowns of the Metro Rail Transit operations, the worsening traffic in Metro Manila, the bullet planting racket at the airport terminals, and the recent power failure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
Other candidates like Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero had already asked for the resignation of the secretary, who is a known ally of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Abaya is also the acting Liberal Party president.
In response to a separate question as to how she would respond to the critics of the administration’s Daang Matuwid slogan, Robredo said that the Aquino administration is not perfect, but it is important to also recognize the things that it has accomplished.
“Hindi po perpekto ang ating gobyerno pero hindi po natin maikakaila na ang buhay po natin ngayon, labis na mas mabuti na kumpara noong anim na taong nakalipas,” said Robredo.
However, she was quick to also say: “Ang mga pagkukulang ay pupunuan, ang mga pagkakamali ay isinasaayos.”
Asked whether she thinks the criticisms over the Daang Matuwid would be a liability or an asset for her campaign, Robredo, the front-runner in the recent election polls, said it would be both.
“Liability dahil kami po ang ang sumasalo sa mga tuligsa sa gobyerno. Pero asset rin kasi po ‘yung mga papuri sa gobyerno kami rin ang nakikinabang,” said Robredo.