Liberal Party Vice Presidential bet Leni Robredo ended her closing statement during the PiliPinas Vice Presidential Debate 2016 by saying: “May the best woman win!”
Robredo – the only woman in the vice presidential race – said that she is excited to win, not for herself but for her countrymen who hope for a leader who will not forsake them.
“Kapag binabalikan ko ang kwento at mukha ng aking mga nakakasalamuha, sinasabi ko po sa sarili ko: ‘excited na akong manalo.’ Hindi para sa sarili ko, pero para sa ating mga kababayan na umaasa na merong mamumuno sa kanila na hinding-hindi sila pababayaan,” said Robredo.
Robredo also mentioned her rise in the pre-election surveys, which saw her initially at the bottom of the pack mainly due to her lack of exposure in the national political scene, but has surged to bring her to a statistical-tie with Senators Bongbong Marcos and Chiz Escudero.
“Noong una po akong tumatakbo, halos wala po sa akin na nakakakilala. Sa lahat po yata sa amin, pang-huli ako,” recalled Robredo. “Ngayon, hindi na ganun ang kwento. Malapit na, abot-kamay na ang tagumpay.”
Robredo, who served as a representative of the third district of Camarines Sur in Congress, was thrust into politics in 2013 after the death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. She is left to take care of their 3 daughters – Aika, Tricia, and Jill – while attending to the needs of her constituents.
In her closing statement, Robredo highlighted her role as a mother: “Isa po akong ina, at hindi ko po papabayaan ang aking mga anak, hindi ko po pababayaan ang bayan.”
“Naniniwala po ako sa dulo ng lahat, yung tama ang parating nananaig,” said Robredo. “Sa amin pong anim, may the best woman win!”
When asked if they had plans on running for the Presidency, Robredo was the fastest in raising a thumbs-down sign to note that she has no plans. She even raised her sign higher when the other candidates were asked by the moderator to give their answers to the question. Some candidates even had to clarify the question and quantify their answers.
All six candidates went head-to-head in an explosive first-ever Vice Presidential Debates held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Sunday. Inside the debate hall, there were more than 4000 people who had to be reminded several times to allow the candidate to speak and finish their statements due to some heckling and jeering. Each of the six candidates was allotted a total of 165 seats for 15 members of their campaign teams and 150 supporters. The rest of the seats were opened to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
PiliPinas Vice-Presidential Debate 2016, the first and the only official vice-presidential debate, was organized by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) with the cooperation of CNN Philippines, Business Mirror, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng PIlipinas, and the UST.