Robredo gets endorsement of 47 former Arroyo officials
MANILA, Philippines — Close to 50 officials of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are endorsing Vice President Leni Robredo for president, going against their ex-boss who is backing the candidacy of Ferdinand Macros Jr.
“We vote Leni Robredo for President. She leads the Philippines through the pandemic and other fronts. With her, we stay safe, restore our economy and social fabric, and keep our Republic whole and secure,” said the 47 officials during the Arroyo administration in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.
“She is rock-steady for military might, human security, and peace talks. She guards our Exclusive Economic Zone with constant vigilance and honorable diplomacy. As President, Chief Diplomat, and Commander-in-Chief, Leni Robredo stands in front of our great battles, here and beyond our shores. Vote Leni Robredo. Let the Philippines lead,” they also said.
Ignacio Bunye, the former press secretary of Arroyo and one of the signatories to the statement of support for Robredo, verified the document in an online message to INQUIRER.net. Former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit also confirmed signing the joint statement.
The ex-Arroyo officials asserted that many Filipinos are “beset by fear, anxiety, and lethargy,” stressing the need for the country to be led by a “strong woman” in order to “rekindle our energy and resolve.”
“Leni Robredo represents the tough love of our mothers. She has the tenacious will to persuade. She drives our communities along the path of resilience. She listens to the high and low. She quiets down the babel of voices to bring our aspirations together. She lifts up small enterprises, fishers, and farmers,” they said.
“She helps create productive and fairly paid work through a covenant between business and government. She cloaks the weakest from disease, ignorance, and injustice,” the former Arroyo officials added.
Further, they believe Robredo will uplift families, teachers, and schools to beat the country’s “crisis in education.”
“The rising generations are starved of useful learning. Our ladder to the most valuable, stable, and fulfilling jobs in the world is rotting. Leni Robredo assembles families, teachers, and schools to overcome the crisis in education. Professionals, civil society, corporate social responsibility, and the donor community are behind her,” they said.
‘Honest with people’s money’
The former Arroyo officials also emphasized that Robredo is “honest with people’s money.”
“The work ahead is to gather the nation around a battle of grit and fortitude. Leni Robredo leads us in the uphill climb. Young minds craft her roadmap. Her daily work is transparent in talk and action,” they said.
“Our tasks are exceedingly complex and challenging. Health has moved to the center of our concerns. Remote work, pandemic-proof systems, and digital commerce are today’s bywords. We must be abreast of the new ways of earning and living. As challenges mount, Leni Robredo does more in less time,” they added.
They likewise pointed to the problem of climate change as well as domestic threats, saying Robredo would be a “bearer of balance, calm, and hope.”
“Climate change is here—floods, stronger typhoons, and deadly droughts. Domestic threats such as organized crime, phishing, drugs, and terror are unabated. We can only fight back with the iron fist of the law gloved in science, faith, and creativity,” they said.
Aside from Bunye and Dayrit, other Arroyo officials who signed the joint statement of support for Robredo are:
- Silvestre Afable Jr., former Office of the President Communications Director
- Estrella Alabastro, former Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary
- Dante Canlas, former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General
- Avelino Cruz Jr., former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary
- Edilberto de Jesus, former Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary
- Leila de Lima, former Commission on Human Rights Chairperson
- Albert del Rosario, former Philippine Ambassador to the United States
- Teresita Deles, former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
- Jesli Lapus, former DepEd and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary
- Florencio Abad, former DepEd Secretary
- Imelda Nicolas, former National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Lead Convenor
- Joe Nathan Tenefrancia, former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
- Rene Bañez, former Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner
- Veronica Villavicencio, former NAPC Lead Convenor
- Thomas Aquino, former DTI Undersecretary
- Cliff Burklet, former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary
- Vilma Cabrera, former DSWD Secretary
- Adrian Cristobal Jr., Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Director-General and DTI Undersecretary
- Macabangkit Lanto, former Deparment of Justice Undersecretary
- Cecilio Lorenzo, former DND Undersecretary
- Mateo Montaño, former DSWD Undersecretary
- Alexander Padilla, former Health Secretary
- Francisco del Rosario, former DND Undersecretary
- Antonio Salvador, former Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary
- Jose Santos, former DND Undersecretary
- Eduardo Escueta, former National Police Commission Vice Chairman
- Diwa Gunigundo, former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor
- Ronald Solis, former National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Commissioner
- Jorge Sarmiento, former NTC Deputy Commissioner
- Rene Sarmiento, former Comelec Commissioner and OPPAP Officer-in-Charge/Undersecretary
- Othello Carag, former DND Assistance Secretary
- Emily Abrera, former Cultural President of the Philippines President
- Zorayda Amerlia Alonzo, former Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) President and CEO
- Victoria Avena, former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Commissioner
- Edita Bueno, former National Electrification Administrator
- Ruben Carranza, former PCGG Commissioner
- Mary Anne Colayco, former Energy Regulatory Commissioner
- Lilia de Lima, former Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General
- Cesar Garcia, former National Intelligence Coordinating Agency chief
- Danilo Gozo, former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Director
- Francisco Licuanan, former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman
- Leopoldo Maligalig, former Philippine Military Academy Superindentent
- Eduardo Matillano, former Philippine National Police Director and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director
- Vitaliano Nañagas, former Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman
- Romero Federico Quimbo, former HDMF President
This latest endorsement for Robredo from former Arroyo officials adds to the growing list of pronouncements of support for the vice president’s presidential bid in the May 9 elections.
Previously, 23 Cabinet secretaries and senior officials under the administration of former President Fidel Ramos backed Robredo’s presidential run as they expressed grave concern over the “proliferation of misinformation, dubious promises and outright falsehoods” emerging ahead of the polls.
Robredo also got the endorsement of nearly 100 former Cabinet members, senior officials, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chiefs, and top diplomats who served under former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s administration.
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