Former Aquino Cabinet Officials, Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff, back VP Leni Robredo’s presidential bid
Twenty-seven former Cabinet members, four chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), senior government officials, ambassadors, and career civil servants who served under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III expressed their support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Among those who signed the statement released on Tuesday, February 1, was former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was Robredo’s presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.
The former military chiefs who signed the endorsement were retired Generals Eduardo Oban, Jr., Jesse Dellosa, Emmanuel Bautista, and Hernando Iriberri.
Forty-two career diplomats also joined the endorsement for Robredo, a move not often heard of in the diplomatic community. Among the senior career diplomats who are supporting Robredo’s candidacy are former Foreign Affairs Sec. and Ambassador Delia Albert, former Labor Secretary and Ambassador Jose S. Brillantes, former Ambassadors Sonia Brady, Victoria Bataclan, Estrella Berenguel, Eduardo Maglaya, Claro Cristobal, Laura del Rosario, Cecilia Rebong, and Millie Thomeczek.
The Vice President’s late husband, Jesse Robredo, was the late President’s Interior Secretary until his death in a plane crash on August 18, 2012.
In the statement, the former Aquino officials said the May 9 elections will shape the future of generations to come.
This is why, they said, they aspire “for a government led by a President who is competent, experienced and committed to the principles of integrity, democracy, and genuine public service.”
“We believe that the best candidate who embodies these aspirations is a true leader who brings with her a solid track record of serving the public; one who possesses all the qualities of an ideal Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces,” they said.
“We commit ourselves fully to Vice President Leni Robredo’s bid for the presidency to lead the Philippines on an upward path of recovery and greatness. We thus enjoin the Filipino people to give our country the leader that we all deserve,” they said.
Aquino’s term as president from 2010 to 2016 was marked by strong economic growth that gained the country investment-grade status from international rating agencies, shedding its old image as “Sick Man of Asia” to become “Asia’s Rising Tiger.”
The late President’s officials said that the country needs a leadership that “ensures the safety and well-being of all its citizens while respecting human rights and the rule of law.”
“A leadership that takes charge in a crisis – one that is capable, decisive, and able to lead by example,” they said.
President Aquino passed away on June 24 last year. In her tribute to the late President, Robredo described him as “incorruptible, righteous and decent,” a leader who remained “very simple” and “unaffected by power”.
In January, 23 former cabinet members and officials under President Fidel Ramos also released a statement supporting Robredo, who they said espouse the same leadership qualities as Ramos, who led the nation from 1992 to 1998. [End]