By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---Vice President Leni Robredo has disassociated herself from the group Tindig Pilipinas, a coalition of groups and individuals including former President Benigno Aquino III, former Cabinet members and opposition senators against extra-judicial killings launched at Club Pilipino before the 45th year of the declaration of Martial Law.
“Hindi ako kabahagi sa Tindig Pilipinas. Naimbita ako kasama yong iba pang mga kasama sa laban dati sa Martial Law (I am not part of Tindig Pilipinas. I was only invited among others who fight against Martial Law.),” Robredo said, answering the query whether she is a member of the Tindig Pilipinas since she was seen during the mass before the launching of the group.
She said attending the mass was important to her because it was about the memories of Martial Law and the lessons learned from it to avoid the repetition of the “darkness in our country” of those years.
“Pero hindi ako bahagi ng Tindig Pilipinas. Tingin ko kasi mas mabuti sana na yong mga grupong ganyan, parang organic na manggagaling sa mga ordinaryong tao na hindi pinapakialaman ng mga politico. (But I am not part of Tindig Pilipinas. In my view, it will be better if such group should be organic which will be from ordinary people with interference from politicians.),” Robredo reiterated.
She said once politicians join in an organization it will always be stain with doubt on its intention and divert from the real issue that must be tackled.
“Then, what will be talked about will be for what is the interest of a politicians why they joined,” Robredo said.
She said politicians joining the movement will sully the organization because there will always be doubt on the intention of joining.
Among the politicians who joined the Tindig Pilipinas include Liberal Party President Francis Pangilinan, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano.
Former Cabinet members of the Aquino administration who attended the launching of Tindig Pilipinas were Edwin Lacierda, Armin Luistro and Teresita Deles.
The organizations that participated in the Tindig Pilipinas include Ateneo University Loyola, CODE-NGO, De La Salle Brothers-Philippines, Alyansa ng mga Abogado para sa Bayan (ALAB), August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM), Black and White Movement, Akbayan, Millennials Against Dictators (MAD), Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), The Silent Majority (TSM), US Pinoys for Good Governance (US4GG) and many others.
The Tindig Pilipinas called on the Duterte administration to refocus its efforts on the War Against Drugs from extra-judicial killings to healing approach where drug dependency is treated as a health issue and not a criminal one.
The group vowed to stand together, stand up and overcome fear and apathy, and speak out in protest over the wrongdoings currently committed.