By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday welcomed the “endorsement” given by President Rodrigo Duterte to Mar Roxas who is running for Senator in 2019.
“Masayang balita na in-endorse ni Pangulong Duterte si Secretary Mar for the Senate (It’s good news that President Duterte endorsed Secretary Mar for a Senate seat),” said Robredo who led the launch of the “Istorya ng Pag-asa (Story of Hope)” (INP) at the Filamer Christian University in Roxas City, Capiz. “Affirmation iyon na very much qualified, walang duda iyong qualifications, dapat talagang tulungan (That was an affirmation that (Roxas) is very much qualified, no doubt about his qualifications, and he should really be helped),” she added.
Duterte, during an event in Boracay on Thursday evening, said that people should “vote for Roxas.” Robredo said it was the first that she heard the President endorsing his former political rival during the 2016 presidential elections.
Robredo said that she already met with Roxas prior to the launch of the INP in Capiz. Aside from the former Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) Secretary, the VP also met with the local leaders in the province. “Ito ay pagkakataon para mapasalamatan ko sila sa tulong na binigay sa akin noong 2016 elections, kasi sobrang taas ng botong nakuha ko dito sa Capiz,” she said. “Kaya malaking pasasalamat na nakabalik ako, kasi the last time I was here was during the campaign period pa,” she added. (This is my chance to thank them for all the help they have given me during the 2016 elections because I was able to get so many votes here in Capiz. I am very thankful that I was able to come back here because the last time that I was here was during campaign period.)
Meanwhile, Robredo expressed hope that there will be more areas where the INP will be launched. “Actually iyong Istorya ng Pag-asa mismo iyong message—na mahirap man iyong pinagdadaanan, parating magpursige, kasi parating may kapalit iyong pagpupursige,” she said. “Ayon naman iyong pinakasadya natin sa Istorya ng Pag-asa, na magbigay ng inspirasyon para sa mga taong naghihirap,” she added. (The message of Istorya ng Pag-asa is to encourage people not to give up. Through this, we hope to be able to give inspiration to those who are having a hard time in life.)
Aside from Capiz, Robredo said that INP has already been launched in some areas in Luzon (Baguio, Cavite, and Quezon City); in Visayas (Cebu, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo and Capiz); and in Mindanao (Cagayan de Oro) – among others.
On the same day, Robredo also went to Iloilo for an INP-related event. “Iyon naman iyong gusto natin, na mahikayat iyong mga partners natin na maghanap nang maghanap ng mga inspiring stories kasi sobrang dami talaga, kailangan lang i-document, para magbigay ng inspirasyon,” she said. (That’s exactly what we want, to encourage our partners to look for inspiring stories that should be documented to give inspiration to others).
INP is a traveling photo gallery featuring extraordinary stories of ordinary Filipinos. Through words and portraits, this project aims to inspire, empower and be a source of hope for all. It was an offshoot of Araw ng Pagbasa – an annual reading advocacy program that began in Quezon City.
Officially adopted in November 2016, INP is an initiative of the Office of the Vice President aiming to direct social conversations away from animosity and toward positivity by spreading stories of hope. With the support of partners and stakeholders from different provinces, the INP continues to grow and expand its reach to all corners of the country.