'Gobyernong Tapat': A look at Robredo's platform and the people around her

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
'Gobyernong Tapat': A look at Robredo's platform and the people around her
Vice President Leni Robredo at her proclamation rally in her hometown of Naga City on February 8, 2022.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena
This is part of a series of articles about the top presidential candidates and their policy views. Read the rest in the series:

Ping Lacson
| Bongbong Marcos | Isko Moreno Domagoso | Leni Robredo | Manny Pacquiao


MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is no stranger to challenges, having been a public interest lawyer thrust into politics after the sudden death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

In 2016, Robredo went from placing the lowest in pre-election surveys to becoming the victor in the vice-presidential race, narrowly beating the son and namesake of the late dictator, former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Robredo’s challenge for 2022 is to repeat this come-from-behind win by closing the double-digit gap between her and Marcos — so far her closest rival for the presidency — with the help of her supporters, collectively known as Kakampinks.

The vice president is running on a platform centered on good governance, which she believes would uplift the lives of Filipinos as reflected in her campaign slogan, "Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat."

Here’s a cheat sheet on opposition leader Robredo’s bid to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte:

Robredo's team

Running mate: Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has over two decades of legislative experience at both the local and national levels. He is also the president of the former administration Liberal Party.

Spokesperson: Lawyer Barry Gutierrez has been serving as Robredo’s spokesperson ever since she assumed the vice-presidency. He represented the Akbayan party-list at the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2016.

Campaign manager: Former Sen. Bam Aquino was set to join the 2022 senatorial race but backed out to focus on being Robredo’s campaign manager.

Tropang Angat

Robredo unveiled 11 of her 12-person Senate slate in October and completed this a week after with the addition of a labor leader. 

The vice president herself acknowledged that her picks for senators, particularly guest candidates, are "controversial," as some of her supporters deemed them to be neutral during the Duterte administration, or worse, "enablers."

But, for Robredo, what’s important is that they share common aspirations for the country.

Former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat (Liberal Party)

Having been a municipal council member, a mayor, a governor and a congressman, Baguilat has over two decades of executive and legislative experience under his belt. It was under his term as governor that Ifugao was removed from the list of poorest provinces in the country.

The Sandiganbayan junked in 2018 graft charges against Baguilat over his alleged purchase of an overpriced second-hand vehicle amounting P900,000 during his term as governor in 2003.

Free Legal Assistance Group chairperson Chel Diokno (Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino)

For the human rights lawyer and founding dean of the De La Salle University College of Law, "a lot has changed" since his first try at a Senate seat in 2019, when he and other opposition candidates suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of administration candidates.

Diokno was one of the lawyers who argued against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as FLAG represented opposition lawmakers, Constitution framers, human rights lawyers and journalists in their petition against the law feared to curtail civil rights.

Lawyer Alex Lacson (Kapatiran Party)

It is also the second time that Lacson is running for senator, having mounted an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the upper chamber in 2010 under the Liberal Party. 

Outside of politics, he is best known as the author of the bestselling book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country.”

Sen. Leila de Lima (Liberal Party)

The opposition senator is running for another term at the Senate, but recognizes that her bid is "handicapped or disadvantaged" considering that she is still detained on drug charges she says are trumped up.

Prior to becoming senator in 2016, De Lima was the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights from 2008 to 2010 and was the justice secretary from 2010 to 2015.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party)

The longtime activist has over a decade of experience in legislation, starting out in 2004 as Akbayan’s representative in the lower chamber. 

Hontiveros is seeking another term in the Senate, where she currently serves as chairperson of the women, family relations and gender equality panel.

Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula (Independent)

The labor leader was the last to be included in the Senate slate of Robredo, who considered him from four or five other personalities to represent the marginalized sector. 

In announcing Matula as her pick for the 12th slot in her lineup, Robredo praised his track record as a labor lawyer who stood up to big corporations and defended the rights of Filipino workers.

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (Liberal Party)

The mutineer-turned-lawmaker seeks a return to the Senate after a three-year break from public office, during which he taught public policy at the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University.

Trillanes is among the fiercest critics of the Duterte administration, which earned the ire of the president, who eventually revoked his amnesty.

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay (United Nationalist Alliance)

Robredo’s predecessor is one of her rather odd choices for her Senate slate, considering that he had been bitter foes with Trillanes, who went all out to stop him from becoming president in 2016 by spearheading Senate probes on corruption allegations hounding him and his family.

But all of that is water under the bridge as Binay, a human rights lawyer, also emerged as an opposition figure in the time of Duterte, whose policies he has criticized.

Binay is a guest candidate on the Robredo slate and is also featured in the lineups of presidential candidates Sens. Ping Lacson and Manny Pacquiao.

Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero (Nationalist People’s Coalition)

Bringing with him over two decades of legislative experience, Escudero is eyeing a comeback to the Senate after one term as Sorsogon’s governor.

Escudero hails from a political family in Sorsogon and is the son of Salvador Escudero III, agriculture minister to ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Escudero is a guest candidate on the Robredo slate and is also featured in the lineups of Lacson and Pacquiao. He has also received the backing of vice-presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Sen. Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan – Volunteers for a New Philippines)

As De Lima’s replacement as chairperson of the Senate justice panel after she was ousted, Gordon exonerated Duterte and the government from accountability over deaths in the course of the “war on drugs.”

Now, the seasoned politician is a staunch critic of the president as he leads the investigation on the Duterte administration’s allegedly anomalous deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

Gordon is a guest candidate on the Robredo slate and is also featured in the lineups of Lacson and Pacquiao.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Independent)

With over a decade of legislative experience and five years of experience as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief, Villanueva is seeking another term as a senator.

He was once ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over his alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund, more popularly known as pork barrel, when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

Villanueva is a guest candidate on the Robredo slate and is also featured in the lineups of Lacson and Pacquiao. He has also received the backing of Duterte-Carpio.

Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri (Independent)

After two decades in the legislature, Zubiri is game for six more years in the Senate as he mounts a re-election bid.

In 2011, he resigned as senator as the Senate Electoral Tribunal neared a decision on the poll protest filed against him by Sen. Koko Pimentel. The SET found that Pimentel led Zubiri by 258,166 votes.

Zubiri is a guest candidate on the Robredo slate and is also featured in the lineups of Lacson, Pacquiao and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

Platform issues

Pandemic response

Robredo has laid down a comprehensive plan to "free" the country from the clutches of the pandemic, which she believes is the key to reopening 

This includes doubling the government’s spending on the country’s healthcare system, increasing hospital beds, hiring more healthcare workers, procuring more equipment and reorganizing the shifts of doctors and nurses.

She also wants major changes to how the country responds to the pandemic, including cutting down the number of members in the government’s pandemic task force so it can be more agile all while assuring that experts will be consulted to ensure that policies will be based on science.

The presidential candidate also vows to make coronavirus testing accessible to Filipinos and to unify contact tracing systems.

Robredo also promised that healthcare workers will get hazard pay, paid COVID-19 leaves on top of existing sick leaves, medical insurance and allowance for food and transportation.

Human rights

The vice president has said that her administration will pursue an anti-drug campaign with the same intensity as the Duterte administration, but will move away from the current administration’s approach that has been heavy on law enforcement.

Instead of a heavy-handed crackdown on illegal drugs, Robredo said her campaign against these substances will focus on prevention and rehabilitation, drawing from experiences from other countries that have pursued a more “holistic” approach towards drugs.

Robredo also said she will allow investigators from the International Criminal Court to probe Duterte's brutal campaign against drugs should she become his successor in Malacañang and that she will also push for the country to rejoin the international tribunal.

She also wants to abolish Duterte's notorious anti-communist task force that has red-tagged several personalities, but will not abandon the local development programs and the whole-of-nation approach in combatting insurgency. She also says, however, that the supports the task force's functions.

Education and youth

Robredo promises to earmark P68 billion for educational aid amounting to P300 every month that there are classes to each student for mobile credits and printing of modules.

She is also batting for the safe reopening of schools based on a risk assessment map which would show which areas have low or high prevalence of COVID-19.

For students in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, Robredo said they will each receive a gadget loaded with worksheets, modules and other study materials that can be used even without an internet connection.

Robredo added that she wants to partner with internet service providers and telecommunications companies so more students will be able to access educational websites and online resources for free.

Jobs creation and retention

Much like her plan to free the country from COVID-19, Robredo also has a comprehensive P192-billion plan to strengthen key industries and generate jobs for Filipinos.

Robredo’s program for job generation is summed up in five points: Recovering trust in the government, awakening the strength of industries, ending discrimination at work, supporting small businesses and providing safety nets for those who lose their jobs.

Public services and social safety nets

Robredo plans to earmark P216 billion from the national budget for aid which she wants to be distributed quickly using the national ID system. 

She is also pushing for a stimulus package of at least P100 billion for small businesses which would be required to keep their workers employed.

She also wants to create a National Unemployment Insurance Program that will give workers who are laid off 80% of their salary for three months.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with