Saying that women leaders “shine” during moments of crisis, presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo stressed why Filipinos should choose her in the May 2022 elections because she has shown what she can do in the last five-and-a-half years.
“Ang mga babaeng lider, nagsha-shine (Women leaders shine) during crisis. And ako, pinakita ko ‘yan sa maraming trabaho namin dito sa (And me, I have shown that in many of our works here at the) OVP [Office of the Vice President], marami kaming mga krisis na nalagpasan (we surpassed a lot of crisis) with flying colors,” she told TV host Boy Abunda during an episode of “2022 Presidential One-on-One Interviews” on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
In the past, Robredo cited the gains of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
She also maintained that being savvy or “madiskarte” should be proven not only through bluster, but through one’s actions.
“Yung diskarte nakikita ‘yun hindi sa salita kundi sa gawa. Yung diskarte sa (Being savvy can be seen not only in words but in actions. Being savvy in our) ordinary natin na pang-araw araw na buhay, eto ‘yung (everyday lives, this is your) ability mo na gumawa ng paraan, eto ‘yung (to do what is right, this is the) ability mo magtrabaho nang maayos (to work well) despite the difficulties,” said Robredo, the only female presidential candidate in the upcoming polls.
The aspiring president was responding to a question by Abunda on her reaction to a quote made by President Duterte in 2018.
“I don’t mean to offend the lady, she’s very good, she’s gentle, pero mahina talaga si Leni (Leni is really weak),” Duterte had said in a speech before alumni of the Philippine Military Academy. “Hindi mahina ang utak, pumasa ng bar eh. Mahina sa diskarte (Not stupid, she passed the bar. She’s weak in strategizing).”
The Vice President smiled in reaction to Abunda’s question.
“Ako pinakita ko (I showed) over the years, Boy, na ‘yung mga (that the) difficulties, mga (the) roadblocks na tinapon sa aking daan, nalagpasan ko ‘yun lahat dahil sa diskarte (thrown my way, I surpassed that all because of strategy),” said Robredo.
“Ako (Me) in many, many instances and I can cite a few: pag merong sakuna, meron krisis, sino ba ‘yung unang nasa (when there’s a devastation, when there’s crisis, who is the first on the) ground? Kami. Nung nag- (Us. During the) Marawi siege, maraming mga bagyo na dumaan, nung lumindol, kami yung nandun (a lot of typhoons have passed, earthquakes, we are the ones there).”
“Nung inoffer sa akin ang (When I was offered the) ICAD [Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs], lahat ng tao na nakapaligid sa akin, sinasabi sa akin, ‘Wag mo yan tanggapin kasi (all of the people around me were saying, ‘Don’t accept that, that’s a) trap yan,’ pero (but) I felt it was an opportunity for me to make a difference,” she said.
In 2019, Robredo accepted the controversial job of co-chairperson of the ICAD, a move that surprised both the administration and the opposition. After she hit the ground running with plans for a rehabilitation-based campaign against illegal drugs, she was removed by Duterte in 18 days.