VP Leni: “Wala akong laban na naging madali”
Her presidential campaign has not been an easy road, but then again, she’s never had any easy victories, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday, May 5, in Misamis Occidental.
But Robredo treasures the tough battles she’s had since joining politics nearly a decade ago. Her experiences made her the best public servant she could be to the people.
“Wala akong laban na naging madali. Hindi ako naging kontento kung hindi mahirap ang laban, dahil ang aking palagay, ang pinakamahuhusay na public servants galing sa pinakamahihirap na laban dahil naramdaman nila kung gaano kahirap manalo,” Robredo said at the Oroquieta Multi-Sectoral Assembly, where she met with sectoral representatives to find out their problems and issues so that she could help them.
In 2013, her first foray into politics, Robredo said she had no money to campaign, she was unable to organize a single rally because of lack of funds, and had little to no support from other local officials.
But Robredo, who ran for congresswoman, persisted and visited barangays and spoke to small groups of people. Even she didn't think she'd win, but on election day, Robredo won by a landslide.
“’[Y]ung unang pagpapatunay na no amount of power, money, or machinery makaka-topple sa lakas ng nagkakaisang taumbayan,” Robredo said.
In 2016, although she was the administration vice presidential bet, it was still an uphill battle for her.
She was up against the late dictator's son and more experienced politicians. She was a nobody in comparison to other candidates, but through her diligence, she was able to introduce herself to more people.
“Nagsimula ako at one percent, pero dahil sa sipag na magpakilala ng sarili sa mga tao, nanalo ako,” Robredo said.
As Vice President, she endured the fake news spread against her, the bullying by internet trolls, the disinformation ¬¬– but all these didn't stop her from going above and beyond her responsibilities as the second highest elected official of the country.
“[N]agtrabaho lang ako, talagang sobrang focused ako sa trabaho. Alam ko 'yung gusto kong gawin pag naging VP ako. 'Yung aming opisina na dati ceremonial lang, na-convert namin into an advocacy-heavy one,” Robredo said.
Robredo launched her poverty alleviation program called "Angat Buhay” with projects addressing education, health, women empowerment, housing, and rural development. Mindanao has been a recipient of many of these projects.
Throughout the pandemic, Robredo’s office was ready to give assistance – all for free – to make healthcare accessible to as many Filipinos as possible. She had the medical teleconsultation service called Bayanihan E-konsulta, the Vaccine Express, free shuttle rides for frontline workers, and free dormitories for health care workers, among others.
Robredo said all these projects became possible, despite the meager budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP), because of her zero-corruption policy which fostered trust from the private sector.
“At dahil malaki 'yung tiwala sa amin ng private sector, marami 'yung tumutulong sa amin. Kaya 'yung aming kaunting pondo, na-eexpand namin para mas marami 'yung matutulungan,” Robredo explained.
Robredo urged voters to consider a candidate's character before electing them to office. She also asked them to be discerning of politicians during the campaign. Look at their track record, Robredo said, and check whether they can keep their promises.
“Dahil pag ang lider matino at mahusay, mapipilitan 'yung iba na tumino din. Pero pag ang lider hindi matino at mahusay, magkakanya-kanya na 'yung ibang mga lider. Matino at mahusay saka talagang binababad 'yung sarili sa problema ng komunidad,” Robredo said. [End]