“Madam President”: VP Leni takes on tough questions, shows readiness to be the country’s next President
On Wednesday, February 2, Vice President Leni Robredo faced tough questioning from veteran journalists and a university professor on the “Bakit Ikaw? The Presidential Job Interview” program hosted by DZRH and The Manila Times.
Grilled for two-and-a-half hours, Robredo, the only female presidential candidate, answered each question with clarity, demonstrating knowledge and an understanding of issues, including foreign policy, economics and most importantly, the welfare of the people.
For her supporters, Robredo scored a home run. She is “Madam President”, which trended on Twitter Wednesday night.
The interview covered a wide range of topics: her platform of governance; hypothetical strategic crisis scenarios; actual leadership experience and competencies; and her personality traits and take on controversial issues.
On the panel were Angelo Palmones, Deo Macalma, Gerry Baja, and Prof. Antonio Contreras.
The hashtag #LeniWalangAatrasan trended on Twitter on early Thursday morning, February 3, and ranked number one on the microblogging site with 64.1K tweets two hours after she appeared on the show.
One of the tweets that quickly went viral was when Contreras, an outspoken Robredo critic, asked for her hypothetical foreign policy statement as President should tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalate into a war.
Robredo began her answer with: “Itong nangyayari sa Eastern Europe, number one, ang pinaka-una kong gagawin, sisiguraduhin kong ma-secure ‘yung 342 na mga Pilipinong andoon. Para ma-secure ko sila kailangan natin i-activate ‘yung embahada saka ‘yung mga alliances natin with other countries pag kinakailangan natin ‘yung tulong nila.”
To the made-up crisis scenario thrown by Macalma asking about her step-by-step orders should US President Joe Biden, 100 days after her election as President, give her an intelligence report detailing the plans of a supposed invasion by around 300 Chinese military militia ships of Pag-asa Island, Robredo was quick to attack the premise saying, “Kung 100 days na ako in office, hindi na mangyayaring mabibigla ako kasi ‘yung una kong gagawin pagkaupo ko ay sisiguraduhin ko na ‘yung ating armed forces ay equipped para malaman nila kung ano ‘yung nangyayari doon na hindi tayo masho-shock.”
The Vice President did not dodge questions about her rival, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Asked whether a unification with Marcos, Jr. is possible if she wins the presidential race, she replied there can be no reconciliation without justice for past abuses.
Meanwhile, netizen Kent Tangcalan (@kctangcalan) said “No other candidate even from previous elections has spoken this much into detail about improving the salary of nurses here in the Philippines. As a former nurse, ramdam ko na she makes real conversations w/ health workers. Iba talaga ang leader na nakikinig,” referring to Robredo pushing for the removal of salary caps for health workers in the Philippines.
Actor Jake Ejercito (@unoemilio) tweeted “Just converted 3 folks to become kakampinks! It’s not impossible and surprisingly not even that difficult when you’re patient and more importantly, are armed with facts. Laban lang. Leni lang”, while another netizen whose Twitter handle is @salitangwakin said, “hmm, I think this DZRH interview sealed my vote for VP Leni. Is there a Leni-Kiko HQ here in Cebu City, or a Cebu for Leni group? because I rlly want to be a campaign volunteer.”
A video showing Palmones twice addressing Robredo as “Madam President” also made the rounds on Twitter, with “Madam President”, “DZRH”, and “Contreras” also trending after the program. [End]