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    Q&A with Vice President Leni Robredo Solid Leni-Kiko Global Virtual Launch

    Q&A with Vice President Leni Robredo
    Solid Leni-Kiko Global Virtual Launch

    [START 00:00]

    MODERATOR: There were many questions. Most of them are concerns na gusto natin na maging proactive tayo to ensure na hindi magkakaroon ng dayaan during the election. Ano po ba ang ginagawa ng kampanya ngayon, at ano 'yung puwede naming gawin bilang mga volunteers for the Kiko-Leni campaign team?

    VP LENI: Ngayon po nag-start na tayo mag-organize down to the precinct level. Mahalaga 'yung organization [audio transmission problem 00:38-00:38] down to [inaudible 00:41] level kasi kung meron mang magiging dayaan, puwedeng doon magsimula. So ngayon, suwerte po tayo ngayon kasi marami na tayong volunteer lawyers. Marami tayong volunteer lawyers and our volunteer lawyers have been doing regular trainings already sa ating– ‘yung mga volunteers natin sa precinct level, sila 'yung lalabas na mga watchers. Pero siguro 'yung beyond that, 'yung simbahan nakikita namin na very proactive ngayon. 'Yung simbahan nag-oorganize na din sila separately, parang parallel. Nag-oorganize sila through their lycos and through their parishes. And ang hinahanapan na lang natin ngayon, papaano natin i-iintegrate 'yung efforts na ginagawa natin sa regular campaign saka 'yung efforts na ginagawa ng simbahan. And when I say simbahan, actually hindi lang siya Catholic Church, although siyempre pinakamalaki 'yung Catholic Church, pero even 'yung ibang denominations are also integrating their efforts sa mga parallel operations ngayon.

    The last I heard from two weeks ago, we are already in 79 or 78 of 81 or 82 provinces. So, parang hindi na lang tayo organized in three provinces pero nakapag-organize na tayo in many other places. And ano to, may pros and cons. 'Yung pro nito dahil 'yung mga volunteers hindi masyado magastos for us. Kasi kung hindi siya volunteers, na maghi-hire lang talaga tayo, wala tayong pera para sa ganoon. Pero 'yung con din nito is hindi maraming local officials ang kasama natin. I mean, marami tayong local officials sa iba't ibang mga provinces pero marami kasi 'yung because of the political climate, marami 'yung would choose to keep quiet. So, hindi natin maaasahan 'yung machinery. 'Yung machinery ng local na while vital siya, hindi naman siya indispensable. But when I say hindi naman siya indispensable basta nakita natin during the 2016 elections na si President Duterte ay wala naman noong machinery na 'yun. Pero nagtagumpay siya dahil din sa power of volunteerism. 'Yung political machinery ni President Duterte when he won was really powered by– not by the usual conventional political structure kasi hindi siya admin noon.

    So, tayo 'yun 'yung tinitignan natin but we're not leaving– we're not leaving things to chance. We're still trying to organize in as many precincts as possible. And 'yun, 'yung pinaka– meron na tayong separate na Church operations. When I say separate Church operations, we do not meddle with how the Church is doing their own thing, but we have a separate team– team na sila 'yung kausap. Para 'yung integration ng both efforts ay maging seamless.

    MILTON MARISTELA: I have a question.

    CRISTINA GODINES: Okay, our next question, please?

    MILTON MARISTELA: VP Leni, it's Milton from Los Angeles.

    VP LENI: Hi.

    MILTON MARISTELA: Hi. You know, we're cousins.

    VP LENI: Oh wow!

    MILTON MARISTELA: I would just like– yes from Masbate. How is– clarify to us this– the way and how much the sending of money or financial contributions for your campaign from here, from the US? It has been– we're giving a lot of mixed messages. So, you can only send this much, you can only send that much and not a whole lot. So, what do you know about that whole debacle?

    VP LENI: Alam mo, I– ako, I would be very honest with you, I don't know a lot of details. Pero from what I know, the reason why we're quite– we're quite careful about it is that we don't want to violate any of the COMELEC regulations. So, there is a– I'll ask– I don't know who among the campaign team are here with us now but I'll ask them to post on the chat box the official bank account where donations can be sent. But there's a whole lot of dos and don'ts.

    Number one is, we're very careful not to receive donations from non-Filipinos. Meaning to say, you know I've been– I've been at the receiving end already of a case in 2013 when a Phil-Am group donated to my campaign kitty and of course I needed to report the donations and then a case was filed against me that I was receiving a campaign donations from non-Filipinos. So, ano lang naman to, it's just a matter of making sure. It's just a matter– I think there is a– I'm not very familiar pero I would like to think that before you donate, you would have to tick some boxes just saying, you know, I am still a Filipino, or–

    MILTON MARISTELA: Yeah, yeah.

    VP LENI: Just to make sure that we do not violate any of those. But may I request if any of the campaign staff is here with me now, to post the official bank account number. Kasi a lot of other groups are also doing fundraising so I don't know which is the official one. But we should have one.

    MILTON MARISTELA: Well, thank you.

    VP LENI: Thank you.

    CRISTINA GODINES: Okay, so our next question? [pause 07:06-07:15] May we call on Chito Quejano of– coming in from West Coast in California. So, California, Chito? Chito Quejano?

    CHITO QUEJANO: Yes, sorry po. Wala po akong katanungan kung di ano lang, panawagan sa ating mga kababayan at saka sa inyo po kay– kami ngayon ay natutuwa at nakapagbigay kayo, nakapag-anlok kayo ng oras para po sa amin na nasa overseas. At– so, mabuhay po tayong lahat at sana po ay– tama po kayo, sinabi ninyo ay tunay pong merong mga– marami po na mga sumusuporta po sa inyo. At nakikita ko 'yung mga dating natutulog na or inactive, ay ngayon ay muling naging aktibo. 'Yung mga kasamahan ko po sa kolehiyo na matagal ko nang hindi po nakita sa UP Manila ay ngayon ulit ay kami 'yung nagsasama-sama at nangangampanya at nag-oorganisa para po sa inyong kampanya. At– so, marami pong salamat.

    CRISTINA GODINES: Ito nga nasa chat box nga eh, naiiyak na raw sila sa tuwa.

    VP LENI: Chito, maraming salamat sa iyo. Totoo 'yan. Ako I've been through so many elections. My husband ran for six times, ako third elections ko na to. This is the first time we're seeing this kind of volunteerism and I think, nanggagaling 'yun sa realization na ang eleksyon na ito is so different from the past ones. Na so much is at stake. Hindi na lang ito– kasi noong mga past elections kasi, parang who is the better guy, di ba? Parang limited lang doon. Pero ngayon kasi what we represent, parang what the candidates represent now, klaro 'yung battle lines eh. Halimbawa ako, ang sinusulong kong klase ng governance saka politika ay ibang-iba naman sa sinusulong ni Mr. Marcos. So, it's really not just deciding who is the, you know, who is the better candidate but what kind of path would you want our government to take in the next six years. So, I think a lot of people are realizing that.

    So, ano talaga– 'yung overseas Filipino workers– 'yung overseas Filipinos parang first time din na sobrang organized? Dito sa atin, even if you don't have a lot of local politicians who are willing to make their support public, whenever we go to a particular– and this is– lahat, lahat talaga. Even in places na natalo ako noong 2016, pag pumupunta kami parang the deluge of volunteers is just so overwhelming. So, tama ka pero kami, Chito, 'yung magpapasalamat sa inyo. Kami ‘yung magpapasalamat sa inyo for being with us in this fight.

    CRISTINA GODINES: So, we have questions pa sa live audience natin from New York. I think Ricky Rillera will be asking a question. He's from Philippine Daily Mirror. Ricky Rillera, are you in? Kung wala pa si Ricky Rillea, may we call on Prof. Hannah Zulueta, coming in from Tokyo, Japan. Prof. Hannah Zulueta?

    HANNAH ZULUETA: Hello? Can you hear me?

    VP LENI: Yes, Ma'am, we can hear you po.

    HANNAH ZULUETA: Oh, Vice President Leni Robredo, it's nice to hear from you and your plans about the overseas Filipinos. And actually, I was actually thinking of a question but you actually replied. I mean you already addressed it awhile ago.

    VP LENI: Thank you, Ma'am.

    HANNAH ZULUETA: Especially po regarding the– how to harness the– the resources that we have abroad. Especially for us, overseas Filipinos how we can contribute to your government when you win as President. So, that's my question, and if you could elaborate on that po, thank you.

    VP LENI: Ako, Ma'am, I'm talking from– I'm coming from the experience we had in the last six years at the Office of the Vice President. 'Yung– alam niyo naman po 'yung opisina namin talagang limited mandate, limited resources, but we want to– we wanted to do a lot of things. We wanted to transform very poor communities. 'Yung projects po namin nagre-range from electrification of island [audio cut off 12:36-12:38] na wala pang kuryente, putting up potable water systems, public health and public education. Nagpapagawa po kami ng mga dormitories in public high schools. So, wala naman po kaming mapapagkunan ng resources for that. And the biggest lesson really is, 'yung private sector is very willing to support eh. Ang private sector handang-handang gumastos ng pera para tulungan 'yung mga nangangailangan. Ang kailangan lang nila, merong platform for them to participate, that's number one.

    And number two, kailangan lang silang ma-assure na 'yung tulong nila ay napupunta sa kung saan siya dapat papuntahan. So, we were able to survive in the last, almost six years because of that. And doon po 'yung nakikita ko na ang laking opportunity. Hindi lang for overseas Filipinos but for all Filipinos not involved with government na ma-harness, ma-inspire sila. Ma-inspire sila to do their share, to contribute whatever they can to nation building. And ang paniniwala ko po, it is government that should provide for that platform. Kasi 'yung willingness nandiyan, pero 'yung government should be inspiring para ganahan. Government should be trustworthy para may tumulong. And dapat strategic. Pag sinabing strategic, dapat na hindi ito 'yung– hindi ito 'yung ano, parang patsi-patsi na programa. Dapat gagawan mo ng programa na ang groups such as overseas FIlipinos can help. Kasi ako po ano talaga– talagang 'yung lesson ko ang daming gustong tumulong and kailangan lang talagang mapunta siya sa dapat– halimbawa po kami, sa opisina namin, we have a lot of partners na overseas FIlipinos pero ang ginagawa namin talagang we involve them every step of the way. In fact, halimbawa, pag magga-ground breaking kami ng mga public dormitories, talagang nagre-request kami na may representative silang pumunta. Parang kami, kami lang 'yung gumagawa noong groundwork. Pero 'yung partnership talaga is between 'yung community saka 'yung mga groups na tumutulong because that inspires eh. When you feel that you are actually part of something big, mas lalo ka pang ginaganahan tumulong. So, I think para po sa akin 'yung gobyerno dapat 'yung gumagawa ng paraan para mangayari 'yan.

    MILTON MARISTELA: Wow.

    HANNAH ZULUETA: Thank you very much.

    MILTON MARISTELA: VP Leni, your work has never gone unnoticed. We really admire every single step you have done, especially during this pandemic. You have been there just like our mothers. You have supported the nurses, the working force. You supported the Filipinos hundred percent. And I think we admire your stamina and your strength. We wish you the best of luck and Godspeed! Thank you!

    VP LENI: Thank you. Thank you very much po. Thank you, everyone. Thank you for not just sharing with us your time, very precious time now, but nakakalakas po ng loob na kasama namin kayo sa laban na to. Kaya maraming salamat po. I wish we have more time pero I'm being warned now that the next Zoom meeting is also waiting for me. So, pasensya na po kayo pero I want to be able to spend time with you again.

    MILTON MARISTELA: Thank you!

    CRISTINA GODINES: Vice President Leni, thank you!

    VP LENI: Thank you po!

    [END 16:40]

    Posted in Transcripts on Feb 18, 2022