MANILA, Philippines – While social media was an effective campaign platform for candidates, it also led to divisiveness during the last elections.
“If you just looked at social media during the elections, it appeared like there was so much hatred in the hearts of the Filipinos. So many people were fighting online,” Vice President Leni Robredo told Rappler in an exclusive interview.
It’s a good thing for people to be engaged, but remaining “on election mode” and not moving forward may not necessarily be a good thing.
Breaking her silence on online critics, she said: “This should be a time when everyone should be supportive already of the administration. Supportive but engaged; supportive but critical. But it seems as if there’s so much divisiveness still. I hope that it will evolve into something more constructive already.”
Emerging victorious from a hotly contested match, Robredo has been at the receiving end of harsh criticism from netizens who believe former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr won over her.
Robredo won against Marcos by more than 200,000 votes but he accuses her of cheating. The defeated son and namesake of the late president Ferdinand Marcos filed an election protest before the Supreme Court.
Limited energy, limited time
What does she do to respond to these criticisms? Robredo said she simply focuses on her job.
“I have limited time, limited energy to engage in these things so most of my energies now are devoted to how I want the Office of the Vice President to become in the next 6 years,” she said.
For her, it is much better to spend all her energy on “positive things you can work on” because serving as the country’s second top official for 6 years is not enough to effect the change she has promised.
“It’s always good to take higher ground when dealing with these things because we don’t have that much energy to engage with anger, with hatred.”
Aside from her portfolio as chief of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Robredo is also working with non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to address the issues she wants to focus on: food security, rural development, public health care, education, and empowerment. (READ: Robredo: ‘I’m now in a position to make dreams happen’)
Robredo has met with potential partners for her projects in her first month in office. She has also devoted time visiting marginalized communities both in the urban and rural areas during the weekends of July.
“I think it will get better once we’ve been able to lay down everything. We’re very hopeful that even if 6 years is a short time, we’ll be able to accomplish so much in 6 years,” she said. – Rappler.com