As Bongbong, Isko Camp Bicker on Fuel Tax, Robredo Says She Sought Freeze in 2018

Robredo takes on Moreno vs. Marcos.
Photo/s: Lisa Marie David/Reuters

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday weighed in on the spat between the camp of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos on the issue of fuel excise taxes, saying it had been her suggestion to suspend it as early as 2018.

Robredo made the remark after Moreno's camp accused Marcos of "idea theft" as the former senator came out with a statement calling for the suspension of excise taxes on petroleum products just a few hours after the Manila mayor publicly made a similar commitment should he win the presidency.

"[Noong] 2018 pa, nananawagan na tayo ng suspension ng excise tax on fuel. Kaya lang, siguro dahil oposisyon tayo, minamasama," Robredo said during her weekly radio program.

"Nakakalungkot lang na kung kailan mag-eeleksyon saka lang may magj-join sa chorus natin," she added.

Speaking before farmers in Tarlac City last Thursday, Moreno said he would cut the excise tax on petroleum products by 50% as this would directly benefit not only poor Filipinos but also the middle class who are affected by weekly oil price hikes.

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On the same day, Marcos also issued a statement calling for suspension on excise tax on fuel, saying it would have an "immediate positive impact on our people."

"There is no doubt that Marcos committed 'idea theft' from Mayor Isko. This is similar to a rich kid from Forbes Park stealing the 'term paper' of a poor but smart kid from the slums of Tondo," said Ernest Ramel Jr., chairman of Moreno's Aksyon Demokratiko party.

Even as Moreno and Marcos' calls came just now and led to some accusations, Robredo said she was happy that many people were joining her cause.

"Baka sakaling aaksyunan na. Kasi noong 2018, parang konti lang tayo," she said.

"Gaya nung sinabi natin three years ago, tignan kung paano mas mapapabuti yung ating suporta sa ating mga kababayan," she added.

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