Robredo on vote-buying: Take the money, but vote by conscience

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2021 08:58 PM | Updated as of Oct 27 2021 07:48 AM

Presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo talks to the media, Oct. 15. 2021. /File 
Presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo talks to the media, Oct. 15. 2021. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said the public can take money from unscrupulous politicians, but vote according to their conscience in the 2022 elections.

Robredo, who is running for president, surmised that it might be easier for candidates to buy votes next year using online platforms. 

"Mali iyong pagbili boto, pero iyong sinasabi ko sa tao, tanggapin n’yo. Parati kong sinasabi tanggapin n’yo kasi galing ‘yan sa atin. Iyong pinangbibili ng boto, pera rin ‘yan ng taongbayan," she said in an online forum organized by Kasambahay For Leni. 

(Buying votes is wrong, but I always tell people, accept it. I always say accept it because that is from us anyway. Public funds are used to buy votes.)

"Pero tatanggapin mo, pero ang iboboto mo kung sino iyong nasa konsensya mo. Huwag kang boboto dahil pakiramdam mo meron kang utang na loob kasi tinanggap mo," continued the Vice President. 

(But accept it, then vote for who your conscience dictates. Don't vote for someone just because you feel like you owe them something when you accepted the money.) 
Robredo said there was no way for politicians to know if some they paid voted for them. 

If they lose, it would make them realize that buying votes is not effective and they would stay away from this strategy, she said. 


During the forum, Robredo also brought up how she has been called "stupid" online after she supposedly said 40 multiplied by 4 equals 1,600. She said the interview where she said this was spliced, and that she was actually calculating for 10 times 40 multiplied by 4. 

"Kasinungalingan siya pero maraming naniniwala. Sasabihin nila, 'Ay nako, VP pero hindi marunong ng math' o 'hindi marunong mag-compute.' Iyon iyong pangalagaan natin, Robredo said. 

(It is a lie but many believed it. They say, 'She is the VP, but she doesn't know math' or 'she does not know how to compute.' That is what we should take care of.)

"Okay lang naman na hindi niyo gusto iyong isang tao, pero dapat iyong basehan kung bakit hindi niyo siya gusto, katotohanan. Kasi kung ang basehan kasinungalingan, ‘di ba iyong lugi tayo rin? Iyong lugi tayo rin kasi napapapaniwala tayo into something na hindi naman pala totoo," she continued. 

(It is okay not to like someone, but the basis should be the truth. If the basis is a lie, are we not the ones who lose? We lose because we were led into believing something that is not true.)

Robredo urged supporters to correct online misconceptions respectfully. 

"Parati kong sinasabi na ‘wag kayong makikipag-away, ‘wag kayo mag-asta troll... Kailangan iparamdam natin sa mga kababayan natin na hindi sila ang kaaway," she said. 

(I always say do not bicker with them, do not act like a troll. We need to make our compatriots feel they are not the enemy.)