What sets Vice President Leni Robredo apart from her fellow presidentiables?
Her ally, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, mentioned two things: she’s a lawyer, and she has “on-the-ground” experience under her belt when it comes to helping Filipinos amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Kung inyo pong napansin, sa lahat ng humaharap sa bansa ngayon at humihingi ng tulong bilang maging pangulo, iisa lang po ang abugado, ang abugada–si Vice President Robredo (If you’ve noticed, of all the presidential candidates wooing the country, there’s only one lawyer–Vice President Robredo),” Drilon said in a press conference Friday, Oct. 15.
“Lahat po sila hindi po kasama sa aming propesyon (All of them do not belong to our profession),” the senator said, referring to the other Palace aspirants.
The press conference was held following Robredo’s unveiling of her Senate slate for the May 2022 national elections.
Next year’s Palace race features the likes of former Senator Bongbong Marcos, son for former strongman President Ferdinand Marcos; Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, a former sexy actor; Senators Ping Lacson and Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, both former chiefs of the Philippine National Police (PNP); and Senator Manny Pacquiao, a retired boxer.
“Kaya sa amin, mahalaga ang rule of law. Kay Vice President Leni, bilang isang abugada na tumutulong noon, ang kanyang mga kliyente yung mahihirap, naintindihan niya at nasa puso niya yung sinasabing (That’s why for us, the rule of law is important. As a practicing lawyer before who has served poor clients, she understands and keeps in her heart the) rule of law more than any other of the candidates that are presenting themselves today for the Filipino people,” Drilon said.
Drilon also highlighted Robredo’s efforts in pandemic response, which he claims the other presidential candidates can’t match.
“Of all the candidates presenting themselves for the presidency, who has actual on-the-ground experience of trying to help solve this problem? You can see it. In the past several months that we have had this problem,” he said.
“Anong ginagawa ni Vice President Leni? (What has Vice President Leni done?) On her own limited resources and relying on help from the private sector, she has gone out, she has done things which nobody would have thought of.
“And I challenge anyone of her competitors: Have you ever done this? May ginawa ba kayo kagaya nung ginawa ni Vice President Leni?…Nakikita niyo ba ang mga katunggali ni Vice President na lumalabas at tumutulong nang husto? Wala po (Have you done anything similar to what Vice President Leni did?…Have you seen the Vice President’s competitors going out to help people in the fullest? There’s none)” Drilon said.
The Senate Minority Leader said this caring touch is “innate” in Robredo, being a mother of three.
“She is a mother. And therefore the care for the children, for our coutnyrmen who are suffering in this pandemic is innate in her. Natural sa kanya na tumulong (It’s natural for her to help),” Drilon said.