Vice President Leni Robredo can only describe her five years in office in one phrase: “What a rollercoaster ride it has been.”
Today, June 30, marks the fifth year that Robredo was sworn in as the vice president after formally defeating former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. by a slim margin in the race. She was sworn in at the Quezon City Reception House, which she has since then held office.
“5 years (Philippine flag emoji),” she said on Facebook as she posted a throwback photo of her being sworn in. The photo also showed her three daughters—Aika, Tricia, and Jillian—by her side.
Her youngest, Jillian, was the one holding the Bible.
On Instagram, her eldest daughter, Aika, reposted a photo from five years ago. The photo showed the three of them with their mother before the seal of the Office of the Vice President (OVP). On their right side is the Philippine flag.
Manual Quezon III, a columnist, editorial writer, and the grandson of former President Manuel Quezon, reposted Robredo’s post on Twitter.
“From day one, she was a reminder that in the people vs. Ferdinand Marcos II, the people won. The whole restoration scheme to permanently reverse 2010 and 1986 never forgave her for it,” he said.
It was only this February 2021 that the Supreme Court junked Marcos’ electoral protest alleging that Robredo cheated in the vice presidential race.
Bernice Ner, one of the vice president’s avid supporters, also told the Manila Bulletin that it was Robredo that made the past five years bearable.
“She’s really the light in this dark tunnel we’ve been in since 2016. Personally, every time I lose hope, I look at what she’s doing and I see a glimmer of light. No matter what they say, VP Leni outshone them all at the grandest of stage—the pandemic,” she said.
Although Robredo’s term has been mired with trolls and fake news, comments on her Facebook post showed her supporters’ admiration of what she did while in office. Some said Robredo was the best person to have held that position.
Angelo Alexis Cardona Barroga compared Robredo’s accomplishments as vice president to profiting from selling lugaw or porridge, which was what her detractors used against her in the past five years.
“Sulit na sulit po ang boto namin. Tunay po na tubong lugaw kami sa iyo (Our votes have paid off. It is true that we profited from rice porridge),” Barroga commented.
Many of the comments from her home province of Bicol told Robredo she made them proud while others kept describing her leadership as “competent, transparent, and decent.”
Then, a lot are calling for her to run as president in 2022, saying they will “ride” with her to the end and the country needs to bring back decency to Malacañang.
Robredo hasn’t announced whether she intends to run as president or not. She’s also open to running as governor in Camarines Sur. Her supporters said they’ll support her either way, although many of them hope of her seeking the presidency.
In her five years in office, the vice president remained true to her campaign promise of governing from the grassroots. Her flagship program, Angat Buhay, is a poverty alleviation initiative that funded projects for empowering housewives, fisherfolks, farmers, market vendors, and many more.
She opened four Angat Buhay villages in Marawi, Albay, Lupi and Sagnay, Camarines Sur for siege and typhoon victims who lost their homes.
Since the pandemic last March, Robredo had to retrofit her programs for her office’s COVID-19 response programs. She delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care workers and tapped women to make local PPEs.
She also provided shuttle services, dormitories, and hot meals for the medical frontliners. Robredo initiated programs such as the Community Mart, Swab Cab, Bayanihan E-konsulta, and Vaccine Express, among others.