Who's afraid of Vice President Leni Robredo?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 24, 2020 - 12:00am

Just because the vice president is always the first to arrive at the forefront during natural calamities and disasters does not mean that she is a threat to the presidential ambitions of some aspirants in 2022. Just because the western media, the church, the intelligentsia, the business sector, the youth, and the students as well as the progressive sectors in our society today are seemingly looking at VP Leni as our next Joan of Arc, it does not mean that she wants to be president.

The strength of VP Leni is her untarnished integrity, the purity of her intentions, and the spontaneity of her responses to the many socio-economic challenges of our times. She is not as aggressive and as passionately articulate as the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, but in her own decent and silent ways, she can make things happen. Even as she may not have the angst of Risa Hontiveros, or the direct, confrontational, and antagonistic diatribes of Leila de Lima, VP Leni is charming and credible in her own caliber of a subdued and low-key magnetism, that attracts the young, the idealistic, and those who still believe that in this crazy world, there are still rays of hope in our country.

The secretary of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana did apologize to Vice President Leni for feeding Malacañang with the wrong information that the vice president was using military assets like planes and helicopters to ferry relief goods to Catanduanes. The presidential legal adviser, and erstwhile spokesman, that ever-loquacious Sal Panelo also said that he also expressed his apology for making much ado about Lorenzana's wrong info. Why are these high-profile officials seemingly concerned if the vice president has been more visible than Manong Digong during typhoons Rolly and Ulysses? Are they afraid that the gentle lady would outshine the big boss?

These are difficult times, and we should not be thinking of the elections in 2022. The vice president is a public servant, and she just wants to fulfill her sworn duties to the people. If the president could not go out in bad weather because he is senior and he does not look fit and healthy, that does not mean that a young and healthy vice president should not go out as well. In her own words, VP Leni says that she is not competing with the president. In her own small ways, she just wants to help. And what's wrong with that? The president holds the executive control of billions of funds. The vice president has a very small budget. The president is the commander-in-chief of all armed forces. He can order any and all generals to meet the disasters in the frontlines. The vice president has very limited powers. Why should people be insecure with her?

This lady is not a politician. She is a servant leader. She was just pushed to run for Congress after her husband died, just like the way President Cory was pushed when Ninoy died. And then when Mar Roxas was scouting for a vice presidential candidate, President PNoy pleaded with Leni to help Mar and run for vice president. As a loyal soldier of the party, she did run, and look what happened. She has slain the dragon of the solid north, Bongbong who, until now, has many sleepless nights. He never expected that a frail lady from Bicol would trounce the man from Ilocos. Bongbong was more wary with Alan Peter who was running with Manong Digong. But God has a way to play a cruel joke on the Marcoses. Leni was the unexpected winner.

And so, who is afraid of Leni? Inday Sara? Bongbong? Cynthia Villar? Well, if they keep on bullying the vice president, she might end up as the underdog who will attract more supporters, and rally all those who do not believe in this administration. Her strength is in her seeming harmlessness. If she was able to defeat Marcos, why would she not defeat anybody else? She might be a graceful Mayon waiting for her time to erupt.

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