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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

My President, Leni Robredo

“No one else will do.”

Only 40-plus more days before the general elections on May 9 and for national position candidates, it’s crunch time. For the two highest positions, the contest is really between the team of the dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and the authoritarian’s daughter, Sara Duterte against the team of Vice-President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

For this voter, the decision has been made early on. My vote will go to the Leni-Kiko team. It was an easy decision because really, none among the other candidates satisfy the criteria that I have been using from many elections ago.

I want a credible president. My president should be untarnished with cases of graft and corruption. Her record is not only spotless, her office has been recognized by no less than the Commission on Audit (COA). My president is not a liar. The words of my president can be relied on.

When she says things are going to be done, we can rest easy that indeed, things will be done. Her credibility transcends boundaries. She is respected not only by Filipinos but even by leaders of other countries. There is nowhere in the world that she will not be welcomed with open arms and warm smiles.

My president has an unquestionable track record—lahat may resibo. She is there when she is needed, especially in times of crises when people need to see and feel a kind of leadership that cares for their wellbeing. My president inspires hope because her being a hard worker is not only seen, but also felt by people. My president is not deterred by limited resources. She finds ways so overcome the challenges and deliver what is expected of her, and beyond. Her incredible track record is hard to match. Indeed, no one among the other candidates comes close to her achievements despite limitations. If she did this as vice president not supported by her principal, imagine what she can do when she is already the head of State.

My president has a comprehensive plan on how the country can recover from the past six years of impunity and abuse, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic that killed thousands and left millions without jobs and livelihood. My president has a blueprint on how the country can continue to move forward and she is ready to implement this. She has had many years of working with and for those who need government services the most. She has dealt with women, farmers, fisherfolk, young people, indigenous peoples, urban and rural poor. She is familiar with their needs and has concrete plans so these needs are addressed. She has plans that are long-term or strategic, and short-term or tactical.

Her platform of government is pro-people and premised on democracy and human rights. Yet, she continues to have conversations with people, especially the most vulnerable.

My president listens. She is not someone who thinks she knows everything, and that what she thinks is always right and should be followed. I do not agree with a few of her positions on divorce, abortion, and LGBTQI+. But what I like is she is ready to discuss and listen.

When asked about what her position on divorce is, and she said, “for now, I am against,” that gives advocates the opening for a real conversation. I was told that in one discussion with women where she said that she is against decriminalization of abortion, she followed this up with, “but you should not change your position, let us continue the conversation on this.” To me, these are good signs that my president listens, and thinks.

This is good enough for now.

My president will not sell my country to China. She will protect the country’s sovereignty and will not be subservient to China even if it is bigger and powerful. Unlike Rodrigo Duterte, my president will stand by and use the international ruling favoring the Philippines on the issue of the West Philippine Seas (WPS). She will exhaust all available avenues to defend Philippine sovereignty and territory. She will not be a coward and will stop China’s continued occupation of some of our territories and harvesting of our marine life. She, together with the Filipino people and the country’s allies will not allow China, or any other country to violate our rights as a co-equal in the union of nations.

Lastly, my president inspires people to do good, be respectful, help others, and cooperate toward common good. Her “mas radikal ang magmahal” line has become a national mantra among those supporting her. After six years of “kabastusan,” we can look forward to the return of good manners and right conduct (GMRC). This is very evident in the way the Robredo campaign operates and is managed by volunteers. We see people helping each other. We see sharing of resources. Friendships and relationships are developed.

Never has there been a campaign like this. People, rich, middle class, and poor alike invest in the candidate they believe in. We give whatever we can to this campaign because we know that a Robredo presidency will be good for the country and people. We invest because this fight is the most important fight for our children, and children’s children.

We give because in truth, the people and country need Leni Robredo to win MORE than she needs to win. No one else will do. My president is Leni Robredo.

@bethangsioco on Twitter
Elizabeth Angsioco on Facebook

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