After the 2016 elections, former DILG secretary Jessie Robredo’s widow, Leni Robredo was thrust in the limelight as the first vice president from Bicol. Who is she?
Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo or Leni as we fondly know her, is possibly one of the most misunderstood and severely maligned by social media trolls. She is as you see her on TV, calm, collected and very soft spoken. Her demeanor is often mistaken for weakness by those who hate her, but is actually courage when fighting some of the country’s most recognizable demons of Christmas past, Martial Law past, to be precise.
During the elections, Bongbong Marcos was very, very sore after losing to Leni Robredo who won by a very slim lead of 263,473 votes. He has been congresman, governor and senator with his first political rodeo in 1991 where he was the first Marcos to return after the entire Marcos family were exiled in Hawaii post the 1986 People Power Revolution. Bongbong refuses to recognize his family’s human rights abuses to this day. He has been suspected of funding a long-term revisionist movement that attempts to change the perception of the Filipino people towards the Marcos regime through social media and paid hacks.
Leni Robredo, on the other hand, has been fairly new to the national political arena. In her first term as congresswoman, Robredo had filed some of the most controversial bills that would define her leadership; Freedom of Information Act, Open Door Policy Act, People Empowerment Act and the Anti-Dynasty Bill among others. These were laws that no traditional politician wanted to see enacted. Some became law while others are still languishing in the Congress and the Senate. Unlike most politicians of her time, Robredo leads a very simple life and much hasn’t changed since assuming the second highest post of the land.
Robredo has also been terribly maligned in social media. It has been no mystery that Mocha Uson and her colleagues have been actively promoting hate against the Vice President. A quick chat with the office of the Vice President revealed that these attacks are continuous and have no real basis in fact. Mocha and her colleagues have told their followers a bevy of untruths like the VP is pregnant (which is impossible because she is 53 years old) or that she has been attending rallies against the president. There have been proof to dispel these rumors but even so, her social media detractors have repeatedly shared the same untrue vitriolic posts, which proves that there is a serious move to discredit her.
I believe there is no discrediting someone who hasn’t done wrong by anyone. She is being hated for who she is and what she has accomplished. In the same spirit that citizens who may not have voted for the president have heeded the call to support him as the Vice President herself has done so, it should only be proper that those who did not vote for VP Leni Robredo should give her the same support. It is the right thing to do.