LENI Robredo is principled, no doubt about that.
Of all the national candidates for the 2016 elections – Vice President, President, even Senator – Leni Robredo is the only one who can truly say she has principles and live up to them.
The belief and trust in Robredo is the reason for her quick rise in the VP surveys by PulseAsia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) since they started officially tracking voter preference last October, when candidates filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC). And this has not diminished even as she campaigns in tandem under the Daang Matuwid banner of the Liberal Party and its standard bearer Mar Roxas.
What makes Robredo rise despite a greatly discredited program, I firmly believe, is due to her credibility, that she truly lives the ideals that Daang Matuwid espouses.
Let’s face it: Daang Matuwid is a great concept. The idea of fighting corruption as a centerpiece for progress, prosperity and social equity is an ideal one for our country that has been stuck all these years with so-called leaders who have put one over the people. But Presdient Benigno S. Aquino III botched the job. In his nearly six years in power he has not been able to pull off this admirable program. It has not gone beyond lip service.
Mar Roxas, being part of that failed administration, has vowed to continue PNoy’s Daang Matuwid, which simply means much of the same: nothing.
Robredo is different. When she espouses Daang Matuwid, she brings forth the hope of what could be – finally pulling off what could have been. And that’s a good thing.
However, as with most things it isn’t a matter of if Robredo has principles, but how much of it. Years ago, when I was deep into my advocacy programs for economic reform through greater competition one of the country’s Taipans who had a vested interest in protecting his monopolies from unwanted competition sent an emissary to try to convince my firm to drop its reformist agenda. As a reward, they said they would give us some of their firms’ business with fat retainers.
I could have said: no way, ours is a principled fight. But I was being realistic, and the thought of accepting did cross my mind. So I sent a reply: you want us to stop? Just pay us off. The rate is ?????????????????????? (ridiculously high amount). This would have given me enough to walk away and live in comfort for the rest of my life, plus pursue other worthwhile advocacies like save the whales or world peace. No matter how fat the retainer, I still would have to work. That’s just stupid.
They never got back to me.
Which leads me to ponder: Today the surveys say that Chiz Escudero and Bongbong Marcos are neck and neck while Robredo is third but still has a way to go. If by late April or early May – right before election day – Robredo sees in their survey tracking that Escudero and Marcos are still in a tie and she has no more hope to move up to their level, will she declare her withdrawal from the race and encourage her voters to go for Escudero, considering the very principled stand she has publicly declared against the return of the Marcoses into power?
One could say the same for Roxas, with the close fight between Jojo Binay and Grace Poe. But knowing Roxas and his delusion of grandeur, he’d stick it out and try for the top spot even if he had absolutely no chance of winning, even if it means Binay would benefit from his staying in the race. In fact, Roxas is the single biggest reason why Binay’s showing is so strong and will grow even stronger if Grace Poe is disqualified.
But Robredo is different. Her standing against her opponents is better and she has the power to affect the final outcome of the race for VP. Will she? Should she?