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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Friday, May 27, 2016

It's TIME! On the eve of Jesse Robredo's birthday, Leni Robredo is VP-Elect !

It's TIME! On the eve of Jesse Robredo's birthday, Leni Robredo is Vice President-Elect of The Philippines!
From Inquirer:
Liberal Party candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Lenor “Leni” Robredo is the country’s vice president.
This was the result of the official count in the House of Representatives which showed her leading with 14,418,817, or just 263,473 votes apart from her closest rival Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who got 14,155,344.
Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers finished tabulating the total number of 166 certificates of canvass around 7:18 p.m. on Friday.
Robredo was declared the winner after the canvassing, which incidentally was the 58th birthday of her late husband Jesse Robredo.
Jesse, the former interior secretary, died in a plane crash in 2012 due to engine failure. The sympathy for her husband buoyed the widow Leni to win the congressional district of Camarines Sur in the 2013 midterm elections, toppling the Villafuerte political clan.
Although Congresswoman Robredo initially wanted to run for senator in the May 9 national polls, she was convinced to be the running mate of Manuel “Mar” Roxas when the administration’s first choice Grace Poe opted to run for president.
Robredo started off the lowest in the voters’ preference polls until she got in a statistical tie with frontrunner Marcos before the elections.
Robredo won the vice presidency buoyed by her votes from her bailiwicks in Bicol, which stood out against the “Solid North” votes for Marcos.
READ: Robredo tells her supporters she has won
Marcos had decried massive cheating and automated fraud that shaved his votes in favor of Robredo after a supposed change in command script in the transparency server that received the unofficial count. But the change was dismissed as a cosmetic change intended to correct the spelling of a candidate’s name.
It's the Brave Widow phenomenon happening again 
in the Philippines!
As Cory Aquino did 30 years ago, Leni Robredo courageously challenged the son of the dictator who pillaged the country for over 20 years.
‘May the best woman win’
This was how Liberal Party’s bet Leni Robredo—the only woman in the vice presidential race—made her closing statement during the Commission on Elections-organized debate.
Robredo also declared  that like how she is to her children, she will not leave behind the nation.
“Isa po akong ina, at hindi ko po papabayaan ang aking mga anak, hindi ko po papabayaan ang bayan. Naniniwala po ako sa dulo ng lahat, ang tama ang parating nananaig,” said Robredo before the debate ended, which lasted for nearly three hours.
“Sa amin pong anim, may the best woman win!”
In contrast to the reluctance she showed when she decided to run for vice presidency, Robredo displayed positivity that winning the race is now within her reach.
“Sa aking pag-iikot sa buong bansa, nagiging maliwanag na sa akin ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito ngayon. Pakiramdam ko, buong buhay ko ay paghahanda. Iyong simpleng pamumuhay, iyong unos at kahirapan na pinagdaanan naming pamilya. Iyong aking matagal na panunungkulan sa mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” she said.
“Kapag binabalikan ko ang kuwento at mukha ng aking mga nakakasalamuha, sinasabi ko po sa sarili ko, ‘Excited na akong manalo!’”
But the excitement she was feeling was for the Filipino people hoping for a leader who will not abandon them after winning the race.
“Hindi para sa sarili ko, pero para sa ating mga kababayan na umaasa na mayroong mamumuno sa kanila na hinding-hindi sila papabayaan,” she said.
She also cited her significant climb in the surveys from barely one percent since she declared her VP bid to more than 20 percent.
“Noong una po akong tumatakbo, halos wala po sa aking nakakakilala. Sa lahat po yata sa amin, pang-huli ako. Ngayon, hindi na ganoon ang kuwento. Malapit na, abot-kamay na ang tagumpay,” she said. From Inquirer
Robredo said the assassination of democracy icon and former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., who was a staunch critic of the older Marcos, sparked her and her late husband Jesse Robredo’s political awakening.
“Kaming mag asawa parehas kaming umuwi sa Naga because of the Edsa (revolution). Pareho kaming na-inspire na maglingkod sa gobyerno. Hindi pa kami magkakilala at that time pero from the (Aquino’s) assassination until Edsa, active kami sa street protests kaya sa akin, ramdam na ramdam ko yung paghingi ng hustisya ng lahat ng biktima ng martial law, kaya very vocal ako doon kasi ‘yon ang umpisa. Nagumpisa ako sa struggle na ‘yon. Hindi pwedeng 30 years after kakalimutan na lang ‘yon,” she said.
"Ma, Follow Your Heart" Jesse
Hindi po ako si Jesse. Ngunit noong namatay po siya, maliwanag po sa aming mag-iina na siya ay umaasa, na sa abot ng aming makakaya, susubukan din naming magsakripisyo, gaya ng kanyang pagsasakripisyo, para makapag  ambag para sa ating bayan. Yung nakalipas na mahigit na dalawang taon po ang saksi na aking nasuklian naman ang aking kakulangan sa paghahanda ng matapat na panunungkulan. Sa aking paninilbihan bilang Kinatawan, ipinaglaban ko po ang karapatan ng mga naka tsinelas –‘yong nasa ibaba, nasa labas, at nasa laylayan ng ating lipunan. Isinulong natin ang mga panukalang batas na nagbibigay ng puwang para pakinggan ang boses ng karaniwang Pilipino at bigyan sila ng pagkakataong makilahok sa pamumuno. Gumawa din po tayo ng mga panukalang batas na magsusulong ng mga sistema kung saan sinisiguro na ang ating mga pinuno ay hindi maliligaw ng landas o mabubulag ng kapangyarihan. Tapat, malinis at bukas na pamamahala ang buod ng ating mga isinusulong, dahil sa paniniwala na sa ganitong paraan lamang tayo tunay na makakapagsilbi at sa ganitong paraan lamang natin  masisiguro na mabigyan ng halaga ang lahat ng umaasa sa atin." Leni Robredo
CITATION for Jesse Robredo
Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies
31 August 2000, Manila, Philippines 
It is sad but true. Democratic government is not necessarily good government. Too often, elections yield power to the few, not the many. Injustices linger beneath the rhetoric of equality. Corruption and incompetence go on and on. Voters, alas, do not always choose wisely. And yet, in Asia and the world at large, much is at risk when democracy founders, because democracy is the hope of so many. Jesse Manalastas Robredo entered Philippine politics at a time when hope was high. As mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 he demonstrated that democratic government can also be good government.
In the wake of his country's People Power Revolution in 1986, Jesse Robredo responded to President Corazon Aquino's call to public service. He abandoned his executive position at San Miguel Corporation to head the Bicol River Basin Development Program in Naga, his hometown. In 1988, he stood for election as mayor and won by a slim margin. He was twenty-nine. 
Once the queen city of the Bicol region, Naga in 1989 was a dispirited provincial town of 120,000 souls. Traffic clogged its tawdry business district and vice syndicates operated at will. City services were fitful at best. Meanwhile, thousands of squatters filled Naga's vacant lands, despite the dearth of jobs in the city's stagnant economy. Indeed, Naga's revenues were so low that it had been downgraded officially from a first-class to a third-class city.
Robredo began with a strike against patronage. He introduced a merit-based system of hiring and promotion and reorganized city employees on the basis of aptitude and competence. He then moved against local vice lords, ridding Naga of gambling and smut. Next, he relocated the bus and jeepney terminals outside the city center, ending gridlock and spurring new enterprises at the city's edge. In partnership with business, he revitalized Naga's economy. Public revenues rose and by 1990 Naga was a first-class city again. Robredo's constituents took heart and reelected him.
Spurning bodyguards, Robredo moved freely among the people. By enlisting the support and active assistance of Naga's NGOs and citizens, he improved public services dramatically. He established day-care centers in each of Naga's twenty-seven districts and added five new high schools. He built a public hospital for low-income citizens. He set up a dependable twenty-four-hour emergency service. He constructed a network of farm-to-market roads and provided clean and reliable water systems in Naga's rural communities. He launched programs for youth, farmers, laborers, women, the elderly, and the handicapped -- drawing thousands into civic action in the process. No civic deed was too small, he told the people, including the simple act of reporting a broken street lamp. He sometimes swept the streets himself.
Consistently, Robredo prioritized the needs of the poor. Through his Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) program, over forty-five hundred once-homeless families moved to home-lots of their own. They became part of Naga's revival. So did a revitalized city government. Applying techniques from business, Robredo raised performance, productivity, and morale among city employees. As a culture of excellence overtook the culture of mediocrity at City Hall, Naga's businesses doubled and local revenues rose by 573 percent.
Reelected without opposition in 1995, Robredo urged the Naga City Council to enact a unique Empowerment Ordinance. This created a People's Council to institutionalize the participation of NGOs and people's organizations in all future municipal deliberations. When obliged by law to step down after his third term, the popular Robredo made no effort to entrench his family. His advice to would-be leaders? "You have to have credibility." 
In electing Jesse Robredo to receive the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the board of trustees recognizes his giving credence to the promise of democracy by demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people.