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FULL TEXT: Vice President Leni Robredo inaugural speech

/ 09:18 AM June 30, 2016

Inaugural Message of Vice President Leni Robredo
Oath Taking of the Vice President of the Philippines
Quezon City Reception House, June 30, 2016

To my beloved countrymen:

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There are moments in our lives that shine brighter than others. Like when I met Jesse. Or when I saw my children’s faces for the first time. Or when the plane crashed.

We are facing one of those moments once again.

I will be forever grateful that you are here today. You, who have given me your trust and have taken this fight as your fight. I am touched that you are with me again in this journey we are about to take.

But this journey is not just about us. This is a chance to bring those at the fringes of society to prosperity—in a bigger, more powerful way.

This is a dream come true for someone like me who hold consultation meetings on train tracks, sleep on boats, and ride single-motor version of tricycles called habal-habal to reach those we need to serve.

We are in this position because we cannot and will not turn our backs on the responsibility for inclusive growth and progress that matters, and we will not waste this chance to lift our advocacy to higher levels. We accept this chance to serve with humility, gratitude and a commitment to excellence.

The chosen direction of our President and our plans for the country have wide intersections and converge on the singularity of this vision: of bringing real prosperity to our people, especially those that have been left behind.

But this journey is not just about us. This is a chance to bring those at the fringes of society to prosperity—in a bigger, more powerful way.

Much has been done, but we continue to face more challenges. That is why we aim to resolutely face all obstacles, determined to eradicate them.

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We will not allow anything to derail us in our goals and we are willing to work with all to bring our plans to fruition.

The only way for all of us to realize our vision for our nation is to work together. During these times when there seem to be significant divisions and conflict in the world, the challenge is to come together, celebrate our commonalities and differences, and turn them all into strengths.

We must do right by the people, not only by our own people. Our loyalties must lie on those we are sworn to serve, even at the cost of personal interest.

This has always been the manner by which we have served; and it will remain that way for the rest of our lifetime.

The doors of the Office of the Vice Presidency are always open. Ours will be a listening office. We seek to unite the government and the private sector in a partnership for change, for those at the fringes of society that we have vowed to serve.

Our plan is to create partnerships between the government and the private sector towards real change.

We must do right by the people, not only by our own people. Our loyalties must lie on those we are sworn to serve, even at the cost of personal interest.

Collaboration is today’s most important and powerful resource. In our world today, our most important work are the things that we can do together.

If you recall, this is exactly the story of our journey together. When we started, very few believed that we had a sliver of chance to win. But because of the contributions of each single individual— like Nanay Alberta who pawned her ring to help with the campaign, like the Sumilao farmers who walked again to Metro Manila, like the dad-and-son tandem we randomly witnessed fixing our destroyed posters—like each one of you who sacrificed so much to get us where we are now and believed when nobody believed.

When we stand for what we believe in, when we are ready to sacrifice our personal interests, we can make the impossible possible.

We can accomplish many things in the next six years. We invite all who have a passion for helping the poor, for fixing systems for the poor, for unlocking barriers that perpetuate the status quo in the poorest areas of our country, to come to our office.

We will streamline and bring all these efforts together so that we can extract the highest possible impact from each point of collaboration.

When we stand for what we believe in, when we are ready to sacrifice our personal interests, we can make the impossible possible.

We have identified hunger and food security, universal health care, rural development, education and people empowerment as our main priorities. In these areas, there is no time to lose because every day, there is real suffering on the ground. Our dream is to make a head way on easing that suffering as soon as we can. Join me.

Together, let’s take another journey.

In our first 100 days, we plan to once again go to the farthest and the smallest barangays to pray with you, to laugh and cry with you, and most of all to listen to the things that you want changed. This is what we did in Naga City and in our district—the place where I was born, where I built a family with the love of my life, the place that formed my awareness of society’s problems, and calcified in my mind the solutions that work best. The place that gave birth to myself as a public servant.

The transformation that we personally saw in our district as we literally wore out our slippers walking with people on the ground, strengthens our resolve that this is the best way to bring about change in our nation.

As Jesse used to say when he was alive: “What brings us together as a nation is far more powerful than what pulls us apart.”

We hope that as we bring the Office of the Vice Presidency to your barangay, you will feel the government is truly there for you, and when you feel that, you will be inspired to spark your own change as well.

When change begins in ourselves, the change we want to see in our nation will truly happen. We have seen this in the farmers and fisherfolk we have helped, in each battered woman we tried to empower, in each indigenous person, or barangay health worker.

Any groundswell begins from an individual’s resolve. If you want our country to leave behind the things that hold it down, we must start within. That will spark a real groundswell, a unity of effort that brings about strength.

Whatever change we want to see in our nation must begin within ourselves. And when we do that together, nothing is impossible.

As Jesse used to say when he was alive: “What brings us together as a nation is far more powerful than what pulls us apart.”

When change begins in ourselves, the change we want to see in our nation will truly happen. We have seen this in the farmers and fisherfolk we have helped, in each battered woman we tried to empower, in each indigenous person, or barangay health worker.

During these times of conflict, unity is most important for our nation. We may come from different walks of life or different advocacies, but our dreams are the same: that each Filipino will live a dignified, prosperous life.

This moment, today, is the start of the fulfillment of these dreams.

Thank you very much and mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

leni Robredo

Leading VP candidate Leni Robredo during the thanksgiving mass in Ateneo Church of the Gesu. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU

Minamahal kong mga kabayayan:

May mga sandali sa ating buhay na mas matingkad kaysa sa iba. Noong nagkakilala kami ni Jesse. Noong nasilayan ko sa unang pagkakataon ang mukha ng aming mga anak. Noong bumagsak ang kanyang eruplano.

Ngayon, narito na naman tayo sa isang mahalagang yugto.

Nagpapasalamat akong kasama ko kayo sa oras na ito. Kayong nagbigay ng inyong tiwala at umako ng ating laban bilang laban niyo rin. Samahan ninyo ulit ako sa aking bagong paglalakbay.

Ang sandaling ito ay hindi lamang tungkol sa akin. Ito ang ating pagkakataong masama ang mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan tungo sa maginhawang buhay sa mas malawak na paraan.

Sa isang katulad nating nakikipagpulong sa riles ng tren, natutulog sa bangka at sumasakay sa habal-habal para maabot ang ating mga pinaglilingkuran, ito ay isang malaking biyaya para lalo pang makapaglingkod.

Tayo ay nasa posisyong ito dahil hindi natin matalikuran ang tawag ng paninilbihan, at hindi natin sasayangin ang pagkakataong paigtingin ang ating mga ipinaglalaban.

Niyayakap natin ang responsibilidad na ito, na may buong pagpapakumbaba, pasasalamat, at pagsusumikap.

Ang mga pangarap ng ating Pangulo at ating mga plano para sa bansa ay nagkakatugma patungo sa iisang hangarin: ang mabigyan ng tunay na kaunlaran ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mga napag-iiwanan.

Marami nang naumpisahan pero marami pa ring kailangang punan. Kaya ang ating panata ay malagpasan ang kahit ano pang hamon.

Hindi natin hahayaang mapigilan tayo ng ano mang balakid upang makapagsilbi at handa tayong makipagtulungan sa lahat.

Ang tanging paraan para matupad ang hangaring ito para sa ating bansa ay ang sama-samang pagkilos. Naniniwala ako na sa panahong tila may mga matitinding hidwaan na nangyayari sa mundong kinagagalawan natin, ang hamon sa atin ay magsama-sama, paigtingin ang ating pagkakaisa, at gawing lakas, hindi hadlang, ang ating pagkakaiba.

Kailangan nating gawin ang tama para sa karamihan, hindi lang sa iilan. Ang katapatan ay dapat ibigay sa ating pinangakuang pagsisilbihan kahit labag ito sa pansariling interes. Namulat tayo sa ganitong uri ng pagsisilbi at itutuloy natin habang tayo’y nabubuhay.

Bukas ang pintuan ng Tanggapan ng Pangalawang Pangulo sa lahat – anuman ang katayuan sa buhay, paniniwala, o partido.

Tayo ay magiging tanggapan na palaging nakikinig sa boses ng taumbayan.

Hangad nating maging magkatuwang ang pamahalaan at pribadong sektor tungo sa pagbabago, para sa mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan na dapat nating paglingkuran.

Ang ating pagtutulungan ang ating pinakamabisang puhunan. Napatunayan na nating hindi sagabal ang anumang kakulangan sa totoo, tapat at pursigidong paglilingkod. Ang pagsubok ay kabilang mukha lamang ng pagkakataon.

Itong ito ang kwento ng ating paglalakbay. Noong nagsimula tayo, parang walang naniniwalang may pag-asang manalo. Ngunit dahil sa pagbubuklod ng ambag ng bawat isa – tulad ni Nanay Alberta na nagsangla ng singsing para makatulong sa ating kampanya, tulad ng paglalakbay muli ng Sumilao Farmers, tulad ng mag-amang pinagtagpi-tagpi muli ang napunit nating posters, tulad ng marami sa inyong kasama ko ngayon na nagsakripisyo – nanaig tayo.

Kapag naninindigan tayo para sa mga pinaniniwalaan natin, kapag handa nating pagsakripisyuhan ang ating mga layunin, ang imposible ay kinakayang gawing posible.

Kaya buo ang loob ko na marami tayong magagawa sa anim na taon. Inaaya ko kayong lahat na nais tumulong na magtungo sa ating tanggapan para sabay tayong mangarap at kumilos para mabigyan natin ng mas magandang buhay ang ating mga kababayan.

Pagsama-samahin natin ang ating mga hangarin at kakayahan upang makalikha tayo ng makabuluhang pag-unlad.

Ang pangunahin nating tututukan ay gutom at sapat na pagkain, kalusugan para sa lahat, kaunlaran ng kanayunan, edukasyon at people empowerment. Sa mga larangang ito, walang dapat sayanging oras. Ang pangarap natin ay maibsan ang paghihirap sa lalong madaling panahon. Niyayaya ko kayong muli akong samahan sa paglalakbay na ito.

Sa unang isandaang araw, plano nating magtungo sa malalayo at maliliit na barangay sa bansa, upang alamin ang mga bagay na nais niyong matugunan.

Ito ang sinimulan na nating gawin sa ating distrito sa lalawigan ng Camarines Sur – kung saan ako isinilang, nag-aral, nagtayo ng pamilya, namulat sa mga problema ng lipunan at kung saan napudpod ang ating mga tsinelas sa paghahanap ng mga mabisang solusyon sa kahirapan.

Umaasa tayo na sa pagdala natin sa Tanggapan ng Pangalawang Pangulo sa inyong mga barangay, mas mararamdaman ninyo na totoong nariyan ang pamahalaan para sa inyo.

At kapag nadama ninyo iyan, magkakaroon din tayo ng inspirasyon na simulan ang pagbabagong loob.

Nakita natin ito sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda na ating natulungan, sa bawat inabusong asawa na ating binigyang lakas, o sa bawat katutubo o manggagawang nakasalimuha.

Anumang pagbabago sa ating bayan ay nagsisimula sa pagpupursigi ng bawat Pilipino. At kapag nagkaisa tayo, walang imposible.

Sabi nga ni Jesse nuong siya ay nabubuhay pa: “What brings us together as a nation is far more powerful than what pulls us apart.”

Sa panahon ng matinding hidwaan, ang pagkakaisa ng bansa ang tanging pag-asa. Iba iba man ang ating pinanggagalingan, iisa ang ating hangarin: na ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ay mamuhay ng may dangal.

Ang sandaling ito ang simula ng sama-samang pagtupad sa hangaring ito.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat at mabuhay ang Pilipinas.

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TAGS: inauguration, Leni Robredo, Philippine elections, speech, Vice President
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