Robredo vows ‘100% support’ for Duterte
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 28, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In the end, the last man standing was a woman. 

As the second female vice president of the country, Leni Robredo vowed last night to give her all to the nation and her “100 percent” support to incoming president Rodrigo Duterte. 

The 51-year-old lawmaker from Camarines Sur thanked “all those who believed in me from the start when I started from zero.” 

“It is my obligation as a Filipino to give my 100 percent support to (Duterte),” Robredo said in Filipino in a television interview from her hometown of Naga City. 

“I know the elections became vicious, I didn’t pressure those who did not like me, but I hope time will come when I’ll be given the chance for them to know me. Because if they’ll know me, their negative perceptions will be dispelled,” she said. 

Robredo ran under the banner of the Liberal Party, whose standard bearer, former interior secretary Mar Roxas, came in second in the final congressional canvassing of votes for president.

At the end of the canvassing by the joint session of the Senate and House of the Representatives – convening as the National Board of Canvassers – Robredo got 14,418,817 votes or a lead of 263,473 votes over her closest rival Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 

After the final certificate of canvass (COC) was tallied, the bells of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia rang in celebration of Robredo’s win. 

The three-day canvassing was the shortest in recent history. 

Robredo took the 10-hour bus trip to Naga City on Thursday night to celebrate the 58th birthday yesterday of her husband, the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash in August 2012. 

She monitored the canvassing of the last COCs in Congress with her three daughters, Aika, Tricia and Jillian.

“It’s like perfect timing. I didn’t expect that by his (Jesse’s) birthday, it will be finished. What luck that it was done on his birthday, of all days,” she said. 

She said that it was “very providential” the canvassing was concluded just shortly after the mass for Jesse was finished. 

“What would you call this (victory) if not providential? Everyone around me, my family, our supporters and country, knew that I was very reluctant (to run for vice president),” Robredo said.

She said the NBOC canvassing showed there was no cheating in the vice presidential race as repeatedly alleged by Marcos. 

She said the copies of COCs and other documents she has are the same ones held by Marcos, whom she expects to file an electoral protest. 

Robredo said she has been calm since the campaign ended and the canvassing started but was praying that she would be able to perform her duties well if she wins. 

“That’s why during the mass, I asked for prayers, I asked them for prayers not only for the canvassing to finish but for me when I’m in office because I’m not wired for this. That’s why I really need all the support,” she said.

She said she was very appreciative of the support extended by President Aquino. 

She said she will visit Duterte only after they are formally proclaimed by Congress next week. 

During a vice presidential debate at the University of Santo Tomas last April, Robredo recalled that a moderator of a forum where she was the only one who attended commented that the “last man standing (in the vice presidential race) is a woman.”

When there were reports that Robredo was being eyed by the administration to be Roxas’ runningmate last year, her ratings in surveys was only one percent.

Ahead of her in the polls were Marcos, Sen. Francis Escudero, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Gringo Honasan. 

She was in a statistical tie with Marcos in the surveys shortly before the elections.

Meanwhile in Davao City, the camp of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte last night said his victory was a “triumph of the people.” – Alexis Romero

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