By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Vice President Leni Robredo continues to fight back against more “fake news items and malicious rumors” that have been made against her and her family.
In a video posted on her official Facebook page on May 31, Robredo answered all the “fake news” that involves her and her family that include a supposed “meet-and-greet” with an alleged “fundraiser” in Los Angeles; her allegedly “attacking” Senator Loren Legarda; edited photos of her criticizing Paoay church; a supposed meeting with members of European Parliament; and her supposed Php700,000 bed – among others – which she all denied.
Robredo shared her thoughts “lugaw” tag that has been used by many trolls to taunt her. “This is one of my favorites,” she said in a jest. “Even if they call me ‘Lugaw Queen’ or ‘Leni Lugaw’, I really like it because it sounds nice, it’s very Filipino…If I no longer have a job, I might consider putting up one,” she added jokingly. The term was coined after one of her supporters, during the VP campaign, put up a “lugawan” as a fund-raising activity.
The VP also addressed issues targeting her “inexperience” in politics; her being tagged as a “fake VP”; and having “dead voters” – which intend to discredit her and her family’s name. “I repeat, our family does not have a history of cheating,” she said.
Robredo also categorically denied any plans or intentions to replace President Rodrigo Duterte. “Wala. Wala akong planong palitan si Pangulong Duterte,” she said. She also issued clarifications on other issues thrown at her such as her stance on the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The VP also addressed those “fake news” involving her children such as allegations wherein public funds were supposedly used to fund her children’s tuition; alleged arrest of her eldest daughter Aika supposedly on drug charges; her youngest daughter, Jillian, supposed “trip” to Spain which was actually an exchange program.
Robredo also expressed concern on the damage inflicted by the proliferation of fake news on the Filipino culture. “Nag-aalala [ako] kasi alam kong hindi naman tayo ganito bilang Pilipino… kahit maraming mga bagay na hindi natin pinagkakasunduan, pero hindi pumapasok yung pambabastos, yung kasamaan, (I know that this is not who we are as a Filipino because even if we disagree on so many things, we don’t resort to disrespecting each other, evil ways),” she said.
Fighting ‘fake news’ as a first step
The latest said video comes a week the first part entitled “VP Leni fights back vs ‘fake news’” was posted on May 24 where Robredo finally decided to address “fake news” involving her – from supposed “boyfriends” and an alleged “pregnancy” that has been going on for two years among others.
“I have realized my mistake,” Robredo said as she sets the record straight over the “rampant disinformation and malicious rumors” that have been spread against her. “I have been at the receiving end of fake news, at first, I decided to ignore it and focus on work but the more I keep silent about it, there are people who eventually believe in these fake news and I can’t blame them because that’s the only thing they see,” she added in a mix of English and Filipino.
Among the “fake news” Robredo addressed in the first part of the video posted in her verified Facebook page include her being the “mastermind in Jesse’s death”; her being “married to leftist in her teens”; and her “many boyfriends” which she all vehemently denied.
Robredo reiterated that since her husband died in 2012, she never had any romantic relationships with anyone. “I already addressed this many times, and on national television,” she said in the video. “They repeat this rumor so that I will have to deny it repeatedly. I will address this again. Mula nang mamatay ang asawa ako, ‘di ako nagboyfriend, wala akong boyfriend, at wala akong kabalak-balak mag-boyfriend (Since my husband died, I never had a boyfriend, I do not have a boyfriend and I don’t plan to have a boyfriend),” she said.
The VP also addressed the “malicious rumors” linking her and Quezon City Representative Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Nonoy Ladines, Jonas Cabiles Soltes and a “clingy stranger” from Aklan all in a romantic relationship.
Since she became VP, controversies regarding her supposed “relationship” Banal have been hounding Robredo. In the same video, she explained that Banal was assigned to her by the Liberal Party (LP) as a political close-in during the 2016 elections. “It’s not true. The stories about me and Cong. Bolet are not true,” she added. She also explained her “real relationship” with each and every one of those mentioned.
Robredo also addressed her “pregnancy” and “abortion” rumors; alleged “opulent lifestyle”; her “so many travels”; her supposedly expensive “Ferragamo shoes”; and criticisms over her “magazine covers” – which she all denied.
One busy parent
Amid all the “fake news” and intrigues hounding her, Robredo basks in the recent achievements of her children.
In her personal Facebook page, Robredo posted photos of Jillian captioned “first and last day of high school in Pisay.” The youngest of the Robredo sisters graduated in Philippine Science High School on June 1.
Last week, Robredo attended the graduation rites of her eldest daughter Aika at Harvard University on May 24 and rushed back home for coating ceremony of her second daughter Tricia on May 26.