Robredo to youth: Focus on track record, not candidates’ promises

Mara Cepeda
Vice President Leni Robredo also calls for an end to patronage politics, saying that officials have the obligation to serve the people in the first place

OPPOSITION LEADER. Vice President Leni Robredo delivers her speech endorsing the 8 senatorial bets of the Oposisyon Koalisyon on October 24, 2018. File photo by the Office of the Vice President

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo called on young Filipinos to be more discerning when they vote during the 2019 elections.

Robredo told reporters in Cotabato City on Thursday, October 25, that young voters should not be swayed by candidates’ sweet promises during the campaign period.

“Hindi [dapat sila] madala sa matamis na salita. Kapag panahon ng eleksyon, panahon ng pangako, pero iyong pinakamahalaga kasi, yayain natin iyong mga kabataan na pag-aralan kung sino itong nangangako sa atin,” said Robredo on the sidelines of the Angat Buhay Youth-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Summit. 

(They should not be swayed by sweet promises. The election period is a time filled with promises, but what’s crucial is for us to urge the youth to scrutinize these people who are making promises to us.) 

“Ano iyong kanyang track record, ano iyong nagawa na in the past kahit bago lang sumasabak sa eleksyon – sa dating papel na ginagampanan niya, paano niya ito ginampanan – kasi ito din iyong sukat kung ano iyong aasahan natin sa kanya,” added the Vice President.

(What is his or her track record, what did he or she do in the past before the elections – how he or she played his or her role in a previous job – because these are measures by which we can gauge what to expect from him or her.)

A day before, Robredo told the public to vote for the 8 senatorial bets of the opposition coalition – who call themselves the Oposisyon Koalisyon – and to “correct the mistakes” made in 2016, when then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte was elected president and his allies rose to power in the country.

The Vice President led the launch of the Oposisyon Koalisyon’s senatorial lineup at a barangay basketball court in Marikina City. Her endorsement speech was peppered with praises for the achievements in politics, law, and governance of the opposition’s 8 senatorial aspirants. (READ: Oposisyon Koalisyon’s goal in 2019: Gov’t with ‘heart for the people’)

On Thursday, Robredo also called on youth voters to help put a stop to patronage politics in the country. 

“Alisin na natin iyong patronage politics, iyong pagyayaya sa pamamaraan ng pagbibigay ng mga materyal na bagay, kasi iyon, napaka-shortsighted na pagtingin sa eleksyon,” said Robredo.

(Remove patronage politics, where you convince people by giving them material things, because this is such a shortsighted way to look at the elections.) 

She explained that voters should be demanding more from the leaders whom they elect.

“Kapag nagbibigay kasi ng mga materyal na bagay at tumatanggap, parang nagiging utang na loob ng botante iyong serbisyo ng leader. Hindi ganoon, eh. It should be the other way around – na kayo na nag-prisinta ng sarili ‘nyo na magli-lead sa amin, kayo iyong may obligasyon sa amin na mag-serbisyo,” said the Vice President.

(When someone gives material things and the recipient accepts, it’s like the voter becomes indebted for the service of the leader. That’s not how it works. It should be the other way around – you presented yourselves as our leaders, so you have the obligation to serve us.) – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.