Urging voters to accept poll results, Leni Robredo sets sights on new NGO


MANILA, Philippines (3rd update 9:31 p.m.) — Vice President Leni Robredo told her supporters to begin accepting the results of the elections even as she rallied them to support her in launching a new non-government organization that seeks to continue the anti-poverty programs she spearheaded while in office.

In a speech at her thanksgiving rally before thousands of grieving yet defiant "Kakampinks" in the Quezon City campus of Ateneo de Manila University, Robredo said the “picture is getting clearer” even while there is a need to investigate alleged anomalies in the elections.

“We need to start accepting that the results of this election were not in line with our dreams,” Robredo said in Filipino. “This way, we would be able to start focusing ourselves on the future.”

The future, she bared, is that she and organizers of the campaign at the local level will launch an Angat Buhay non-government entity to assist those in the margins behind what she called would be the "widest volunteer network" in the country's history.

The entity adopts the name of the flagship anti-poverty program of the Office of the Vice President which later became a slogan of her campaign.

"We already have a template for this, we've done it even with limited funding and machinery at the Office of the Vice President," she said.

"We connected those who were ready to help to those who needed help. Now, we're more organized, there are many People's Councils, many groups that were formed among our ranks. We've shown what we can reach if we all contribute," Robredo added.

Vice President Leni Robredo addresses her campaign supporters at a thanksgiving gathering on the Loyola Heights campus of Ateneo de Manila University on May 13, 2022. Robredo has fallen to far second behind Bongbong Marcos Jr. the presidential race, according to Comelec data.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

Campaign for truth, history

Without mentioning her presidential rival and now presumptive president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Robredo urged her supporters to move forward with the "decision of the majority" while making use of the movement her campaign has formed to resist deception.

She also addressed accusations and reports of election fraud without disputing the results so far.

"I ask you to be one with me in this—be determined not to waste all we've achieved so far, while we respect the voice of the many," she said.

Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo wave the Philippine flag as they gather at the grounds of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City for a thanksgiving rally on Friday, May 13, 2022.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

She continued: "Truth is, it is not only around election time that you can discern wrong circumstances. It's not only about defective vote-counting machines or the reported incidents of vote-buying. Our largest threat and enemy—dominant even before the campaign period—a decades-long project that is the large and terrible machinery that spreads anger and lies."

"This machinery stole the truth, stole history and stole the future. Disinformation is our worst enemy," Robredo said.

2025 fight begins now

Robredo has been identified as the foremost victim of campaign disinformation while her presidential rival, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as its top beneficiary.

Accused of whitewashing history through social media, Marcos, the heir of a dictatorial dynasty elected back into Malacañang, has earned a historic majority of 31 million votes against Robredo's 14 million, according to unofficial, partial data from the Commission on Elections.

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, a defeated vice presidential candidate, glances at his notes as he addresses thousands of campaign supporters at a thanksgiving gathering on the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City on May 13, 2022.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

While Robredo is focused on launching an NGO, her running mate, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, appealed to their supporters to keep fighting as he set his sights on the next elections — the 2025 midterms.

“In the journey and struggle for genuine social transformation, there is no such thing as failure, only delay. Our journey continues, our fight continues,” Pangilinan said partly in Filipino. — Xave Gregorio with Camille Diola




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