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Robredo should avoid message of ‘discord, dissonance’ – analyst

LOW SATISFACTION. A political analyst says Vice President Leni Robredo should focus on her ‘politics of inclusion and empowerment’. Photo from the Office of the Vice President

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo should build stronger ties with the government by issuing more constructive criticim after a decline in her net satisfaction rating, a political analyst said.

University of the Philippines political science professor Ranjit Rye said Robredo’s criticism of the Duterte administration has "locked" her in a "narrative of discord and dissonance." It is far from her message of inclusivity and participation when she ran in the last elections.

"[She veered] away from her message – the politics of unity, the politics of inclusion, empowerment. Those are the things that inspired people to support her," said Rye in an interview with Rappler on Tuesday, April 11.

In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Tuesday morning, Robredo saw a dip in her rating from +37 last December to +26 in March.

"She’s becoming less and less relevant unless she changes the narrative," said Rye. (#AnimatED: Leni, the new Leila)

He pointed out that fiscalizing government is still crucial, but the Vice President has to start "doing more," such as proposing an alternative to the policies she is opposed to. Both Duterte and Robredo should also try to reach a consensus on areas or issues where it is possible.

In the first post-election SWS survey, Robredo got a net satisfaction rating of +49. This declined in December when she resigned from the Cabinet after receiving orders from Malacañang to stop attending Cabinet meetings.

Her rating further went down during the March survey period, which covered the height of attacks against her when she released a video to a United Nations side event, criticizing the administration’s war against drugs. (READ: Robredo video not played at UN meeting, DFA says)

This led to a series of impeachment threats against her and a grand rally dubbed "Palit-Bise" (Change the Vice President) organized by pro-Duterte personalities.

Satisfaction of majority

Despite the decline of her ratings since September, Robredo continues to enjoy satisfaction from the majority, but it also decreased as time went by.

She got a 65% satisfaction rating in September, 58% in December, and 53% in March. This was offset by her dissatisfaction rating at 16%, 21% and 27%, respectively.

Vice presidential spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said in a statement that the results of the survey serves as a challenge to their office.

"The support of the majority is an encouragement to Vice President Leni Robredo, who is working with communities and partners to address poverty around the country," said Hernandez.

"These results are a steady reminder that there are more families and communities to reach out to," she added.

Since resigning from the Cabinet, Robredo has been focused on her office’s Angat Buhay program, which reaches out to poor communities. Her office serves as a conduit through which the private sector can send aid or intervention. Her office is currently working with 126 cities and municipalities.

She recently launched another project, "Istorya ng Pag-Asa" (Stories of Hope), which seeks inspiring stories from Filipinos distributed via social media and to be compiled in a coffee table book. – Rappler.com