MANILA - Former government officials who served the Fidel V. Ramos administration endorsed the presidential candidacy this year of Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a statement on Wednesday, the group said that they are gravely concerned over the proliferation of misinformation, thought manipulation, misuse of surveys and money politics which divert the attention of the public from principled leaders.
The former officials stressed that the country needs a leader who will inspire unity, empower the people and bring out the best of servant leadership in government officials, among others.
“These are the leadership qualities that we directly witnessed President Ramos espouse and exemplify, and which we seek in the next President of our country,” they said.
Among the 23 signatories of the statement are the following:
- National Scientist Dr. Angel Alcala, who served as Environment Secretary
- Academician and former CHEd chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, who headed the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW)
- Sen. Franklin Drilon, who was Justice Secretary
- Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, who was Health Secretary (1995)
- Dr. Carmencita Reodica, who was also Health Secretary (1996)
- Former Finance Secretary Ramon Del Rosario, Jr.
- Former Labor Secretary Nieves Confesor
- Former Agrarian Reform Secretary Ernesto Garilao
The former officials said the 2022 national elections is crucial especially since the country is still struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The country needs to elect a leader who will lead us into the positive path to the unified, humane, just, progressive, economically vibrant, sustainable and equitable society that is the dream of every Filipino," they said.
“We believe that Vice President Leni Robredo is the only presidential candidate who possesses the above-described qualities and who can credibly lead us Filipinos closer towards that dream.”
They enjoined all Filipinos to back Robredo's candidacy.
The Vice President said on Twitter she is humbled by the support of the Ramos administration officials
“I look up to the leadership that FVR espoused, which I believe was affirmed by the brilliant people who served alongside him - matitino at mahuhusay,” she said.
Robredo noted that Ramos is said to have the best pool of Cabinet secretaries in recent years.
“Makakaasa po kayo na lagi kong sisikapin to be worthy of the trust that you and our fellow Filipinos have given me,” Robredo said, addressing the former officials.
Asked earlier what her Cabinet would look like if she won as president, Robredo said its members should be "experts in their field", efficient managers, and "respected" by the sector they would lead.
She added it is important for a President to settle differences within the Cabinet as soon as possible so that these do not go out in public or result to policy conflicts.
Ramos pushed President Rodrigo Duterte to run for the country's highest post in 2016, although he did not hesitate to criticize the latter and his policies.
Other presidential aspirants in the May 9, 2022 elections include Senators Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, former Duterte spokesman Ernesto Abella, and former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.