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Leni Robredo: ‘Final lady status’ in Philippines presidential race

MANILA: Leni Robredo was once a neophyte congresswoman in 2016 when she got here from in the back of to narrowly beat Ferdinand Marcos Junior for Philippines vice chairman. She hopes to copy the feat of their Might 9 rematch for president. The one lady in a box of 10 applicants, Robredo is the ultimate impediment to the Marcos circle of relatives regaining the presidency they misplaced in 1986 following a well-liked rebellion.

However this time, the previous attorney and economist faces a far larger hole with Marcos Jr, the overdue dictator’s handiest son, who voter surveys display is heading in opposition to a landslide victory. Relentless assaults from President Rodrigo Duterte, who as soon as referred to as her a “scatterbrain”, and a vicious social media incorrect information marketing campaign waged through pro-Marcos teams have harm the soft-spoken Robredo’s reputation.

Her pledge to “defeat the archaic and rotten taste of politics” within the feudal and corrupt democracy has resonated with innovative citizens bored stiff with Duterte’s authoritarian taste. Many additionally worry a repeat of the Marcos dictatorship, when billions of greenbacks have been plundered from state coffers and fashionable human rights abuses have been dedicated.

“I’m regularly informed I’m vulnerable as a result of I’m a lady, however I’ve by no means shirked from a problem,” Robredo, 57, informed a discussion board in February. “I’m providing a logo of management this is devoted, competent, industrious and constant. You’ll now not be fooled, you are going to now not be robbed, you are going to by no means be left in the back of,” she mentioned. “In 2022, the ultimate guy status will nonetheless be a lady.”

‘President of all colors’
Volunteers dressed in Robredo’s red marketing campaign color have long past door to door around the huge archipelago country in an against-the-odds effort to win over citizens. It has sparked comparisons with the people-driven motion for former president and democracy chief Corazon Aquino within the 1986 snap election that resulted in the ousting of Ferdinand Marcos Senior.

Like Aquino, whose husband was once shot useless through state forces in 1983, Robredo was once reluctantly thrust into politics after the demise of her husband. Jesse Robredo, a revered cupboard member in former president Benigno Aquino’s management, died in a aircraft crash in 2012.

At the beginning a attorney for deficient farmers and battered girls, Robredo served a unmarried time period within the Space of Representatives, the place she driven for regulations selling transparency and responsibility. After successful the vice presidency in 2016 — a outcome Marcos Jr fought for 5 years to overturn — Robredo reworked her small-budget, in large part ceremonial place of job into person who fed the needy, empowered girls and helped hurricane sufferers.
However she earned the ire of Duterte through criticising his fatal drug warfare and opposing his plan to carry again the demise penalty. She additionally challenged his choice to permit the embalmed frame of Marcos Sr to be buried on the nationwide heroes’ cemetery.

Within the Philippines, the vice chairman and president are elected one at a time. After months of force from supporters and opposition teams to enroll in the presidential race, she introduced a run for the highest process on October 7 — two days after Marcos Jr. “The corruption, the incompetence, the loss of compassion will have to get replaced through competence and integrity in management,” Robredo mentioned on the time. Just like the Aquino-Marcos contest greater than 3 a long time in the past, Robredo is the underdog within the struggle opposed to Marcos Jr.

Some analysts say Robredo, who has 3 daughters, lacks the feisty character Filipino citizens search for in a feminine chief. She has additionally been criticised for making her choice to run too overdue. Marcos Jr has benefited from an alliance with vice presidential candidate and primary daughter Sara Duterte and a years-long social media effort to redesign the circle of relatives logo.
However a bump within the polls and large turnouts at Robredo’s rallies have fuelled hope amongst her fervent fanatics that her marketing campaign is gaining traction. Vowing to be a “president of all colors”, Robredo lately implored her supporters to “include everybody” as they attempted to woo citizens. “The way forward for the rustic rests on us all,” she mentioned. — AFP

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