A visibly irate President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night called Vice President Leni Robredo "a dishonest person" when she supposedly asked where he was in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses.
Robredo on Friday night started calling on units of the military to coordinate rescue efforts in Cagayan when flood started rising due to the waters released by the Magat Dam.
She never made any public comment about the whereabouts of the president.
Duterte said he was speaking before ASEAN Summit online around that time.
He claimed that Robredo started the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo, which trended on social media during the onslaught of Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Netizens were up in arms over Duterte’s apparent absence from the public eye when the two powerful storms were battering the country.
The President insisted that he was monitoring the situation even as he attended an ASEAN Summit.
“I would go and whisper to the military guys in the room, how was it developing and what was the reaction of our government people there and the resources?” Duterte said.
“Hindi mo na kailangan orderin ‘yan sila kasi two days before, deployed na ‘yan sila doon,” he added.
Duterte claimed that Robredo gave orders to the military at the height of Ulysses’ onslaught.
Robredo in her tweets connected netizens pleading for rescue to teams on the ground.
“You are presuming that I should be giving orders on the day of the storm. That is stupid… That is why you cannot be president. Mahina ka. You do not give orders on the day of the war, patay ka,” Duterte said.
Duterte, whose term expires in 2022, then threatened Robredo’s possible bid for the presidency.
“Marami ako sabihin sa'yo. Reserba ko na lang. When you start your campaign, waswasan kita. This is your nightmare,” he warned.
Duterte went on to question Robredo's whereabouts at night, what time she goes home and where.
Robredo took to Twitter to debunk the President’s claims, posting a video of Office of the Vice President staff repacking relief goods for typhoon victims.
“When a President is a misogynist, the conversation goes down to this level. Eto po ‘yung ginagawa namin gabi gabi, nagpupuyat ilang linggo na para, araw-araw, may madala lang na tulong sa mga nangangailangan,” Robredo said.
Duterte has repeatedly been tagged a sexist and misogynist by women’s rights groups.
In 2019, the Gabriela Women’s Party told Duterte that freedom of expression was not a free pass for “abusive, misogynstic” speech.
In 2018, the Center for Women’s Resources said Duterte was “misogyny personified.”
Just recently, Duterte and attendees of a briefing on the government’s typhoon response exchanged jokes about being “undersexed” and having “too many women” amid the string of storms that have lashed the country. -NB, GMA News