By MANUEL L. CABALLERO
WORDS AND WISDOM OF LENI ROBREDO
Filipinos have been admiring former VP Leni Gerona Robredo because of what she does for Filipinos. In short, kind and useful actions that help, especially during the height of pandemic as well as during natural catastrophies.
Earlier last week, Filipinos in New York and New Jersey, as well as students in two New York leading universities, heard from the horse's mouth practical good governance doctrines and constructive political prescriptions, including the dysfunctional role of disinformation, fake news and trolls.
Likewise, for the first time, the unsuccessful candidate for president of the PH in the May elections spoke in direct language why she did not file an election protest despite perceptions of cheating by the winning BBM.
She said her team of lawyers and ITs did not find evidence of cheating, although, she believed there were questionnable activities that took place.
Amb. Frank Wisner and Atty. Leni Robredo. (Photo by Lambert Parong)
On Dec. 5th, Atty. Robredo was lone resource speaker at Asia Society in a 90-minute Q&A style of dialogue with a distinguished American, retired US Ambassador to the Philippines, India, Egypt and Zambia Frank Wisner. It was a wide-ranging dialogue.
On the PH-US relations, the ex-VP was for the continuation of strong relationship between the PH and the US.
On the relationship with China, she was in favor of continuous trading with China, but, at the same time, China should abide by international law, especially on the PH sovereignty issue, which involves respecting the 2016 decision of the PAC in the Hague, which will tantamount to respecting PH sovereignty, particularly in the West PH Sea.
Asked whether she would run again for president, she did not say no, but did not say yes either. She answered by saying she has eaten her words many times in the past on this subject. So, she would not give a categorical answer. It left her open to anything in the next PH presidential elections.
She expressed optimism in the future for the Philippines.
The following evening on Dec. 6th, the former Vice President led again in a Q & A with Filipino Americans from New York and New Jersey. She repeated some of her remarks the night before. But, she was more informal and open this time. She spoke alternately in Tagalog and English for 2.5 hours.
She asked her supporters not to center their attention only to her. She told them to convince more Filipinos to join the struggle for betterment of the native country.
"I will not fail you, people, who have put your hopes in me," she said. She added, "I am very much willing to lead the fight. Kaya magparami tayo."
She discussed extensively about her pet project, ANGAT BUHAY.
She spoke of three requirements in a democracy:
1. Accountability of officials;
2. Transparency of official activities; and
3. People empowerment by organizing people's councils which will function as check and balance to the sitting officials.
Atty. Leni Robredo. (Photo by Lambert Parong)
Towards the end of her talk, she expressed optimism about the future of the Philippines. Also, she made it clear that the end goal of the fight that she is willing to lead is for the improvement of the whole country and not of only one group.