Will Robredo congratulate Marcos? Up to her but can still happen, says VP spox
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo never conceded in this year’s presidential race, but a congratulations to Bongbong Marcos could be possibility.
This was according to her spokesperson, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, who nevertheless stressed that it would all still be up to the outgoing vice president.
“We have 30 days left. She will have several public addresses left to give so it will be really her decision. But at this point, everything that needs to be said has been said,” Gutierrez said during an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart on Tuesday.
“She has actually been very clear from the start that we should be prepared to accept whatever outcome of the elections there will be, to respect the will of the people. So, we’ll see. I think that’s something that can definitely still happen. But it will be up to her,” he added.
After the May 9 elections, Robredo spoke three times – at her home in Naga City around 2:00 a.m. of May 10, during a thanksgiving Mass also in Naga City, and during the thanksgiving event at the Ateneo de Manila in Quezon City on May 13. Not once during these occasions that Robredo conveyed concession in the presidential poll nor gave any congratulatory message for Marcos.
But she repeatedly urged her supporters to accept the result of the election and move on without forgetting the sense of nationalism that was awakened during the 2022 campaign.
Gutierrez then reminded the public that such a courtesy was not also given to them even if they clearly won the 2016 election which was even bolstered by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s (PET) dismissal of the poll protest against Robredo.
“Well, she’ll definitely attempt to address that in the remaining 30 days. There is time. I will say, though, that we waited for six years and on our end, that was never given to us in the aftermath of the 2016 elections,” he pointed out.
“But as you’ve said, it’s a matter of being gracious and the Vice President is someone who’s always been very gracious in all her interactions with people she has met through her office,” he added.
The spokesperson did not mention any particular name, but both Marcos and Robredo, before facing in the presidential race, squared off for the vice presidential post in 2016. Robredo won by a slim 260,000 votes, prompting Marcos to claim that he was cheated.
But the Supreme Court sitting as PET dismissed Marcos’ protest in 2021 due to lack of probable cause after Robredo’s lead even increased during the manual recount.
In the May 9 presidential election, Robredo obtained 15,035,773 votes while Marcos garnered 31,629,783 votes. Eventually, Congress, which convened as the National Board of Canvassers, proclaimed Marcos as President-elect.
Despite the loss, Gutierrez said Robredo is in high spirits, especially after taking the longest break she ever had while Vice President – spending time with her daughters in the United States as her youngest daughter graduated from the New York University.
“She’s good! I think that the – well, to begin with, even before the election results came in, I think she was already in a good place. She was at peace. She was ready to accept whatever outcome would happen and the fact that she was able to actually attend her daughter’s graduation in New York a few days after the election, I think it was a much needed recharge for her,” Gutierrez said.
“Because after all, we’ve been working non-stop for the last six years and in the last seven months since she declared her candidacy have been extremely tiring and trying. So I guess, she had the opportunity to recharge and she seems recharged and ready to finish out the last 30 days of her term in high spirits and with a renewed sense of energy,” he added.