MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said her youngest daughter and her classmates and friends were able to raise over P1 million from a donation drive for victims of the recent typhoons that hit the country, amid online “attacks” on her children.
“Yung bunso kong anak, nagkaroon din ng sariling fund drive yung magkakaklase saka magkakaibigan. Naka-raise din sila ng I think more than a million pesos,” Robredo said Sunday on RMN-DZXL radio.
(My youngest child and her classmates and friends had their own fund drive. And I think they were able to raise more than a million pesos.)
“Pinili nilang i-adopt yung community sa Pasacao (in Camarines Sur),” where they distributed housing materials, Robredo added.
(They chose to adopt a community in Pasacao.)
Robredo praised her three daughters for remaining strong and committed to public service in their own ways despite the attacks they get from social media users.
Last Thursday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque criticized the tweets of Robredo's daughters that allegedly alluded to the absence of President Rodrigo Duterte from the public at the height of the recent calamities. The tweets did not mention any personality.
Robredo herself was falsely accused by Duterte last week of lying about his whereabouts while Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco) battered Luzon the previous week. She denied the allegation and advised him to be wary of his advisers peddling lies about her.
Duterte had said he was attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit when the typhoon was raging two weeks ago, and that the Presidential Security Group discourages him from going outside for his safety.
“Yung mga anak ko, napaka-strong yung mga convictions, mga outspoken. Hindi ko nga alam na may pinost sila. Nalaman ko lang nung pinost na ni Secretary Roque. Pero, sa akin, hindi ako mag-a-apologize. Hindi ako mag-a-apologize sa kanilang mga paniniwala,” Robredo said.
(My children have strong convictions and are outspoken. I wasn’t even aware they posted something. I only learned about those when Secretary Roque posted those. But for me, I will not apologize. I will not apologize for what they believe in.)
Robredo said going personally to communities affected by different calamities and talking to people on the ground are nothing new to her.
Posting her activities on her social media accounts are meant for documentation purposes, to show the situation on the ground, and to inform donors how their assistance have reached beneficiaries, she added.
“Mas mahalaga yung mensahe ng pagdalaw… Ang mensahe nun, ‘Di ko kayo nakakalimutan; may tulong na dadating.. Hindi namin kayo pababayaan’,” Robredo said.
(The message of getting a visit is more important… It sends the message that, ‘I have not forgotten you; help is on the way… We will not abandon you’.)
“Sobrang laking halaga nung personal presence,” she said, adding she doesn’t mind being compared to barangay captains as personal visits, she said, mean a lot to people who just went through a tragedy.
(Personal presence is very important.)
Robredo said she has done this not only after the recent typhoons, which brought her not only to her home region of Bicol but even to Cagayan province. She said she also traveled to Marawi City after the battle there in 2017, as well as in communities struck by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Addressing her critics, she said, “Grabe yung pambabastos, pang-iinsulto, pero small price to pay (‘yun). Small price to pay sa pagkakataon na makapasibli. Kaya tutuloy lang tayo.”
(There’s too much rudeness and insults, but they are a small price to pay. They’re a small price to pay for the opportunity to serve. So, we’ll just carry on.)