Robredo on late husband's critics: They've crossed the line

CROSSING THE LINE. Vice President Leni Robredo says critics of her late husband, former interior secretary Jesse Robredo, have gone too far.

Photo from the Office of the Vice President

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo fired back at critics who have brought up her late husband, former interior secretary Jesse Robredo, saying they have crossed the line.

A new website called "We Are Collective" recently accused Robredo's late husband of alleged lobbying to win the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award. The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation already rejected that allegation, saying it has "no basis in fact."

For the Vice President, the anonymous critics have gone too far.

"For a very long time, grabe 'yung viciousness, ako 'yung nasa receiving end ng lahat ng viciousness, 'di ko talaga sinagot. Never ako pumatol. Pero noong sinetup itong website, tinira ng tinira ang yumao kong asawa, tingin ko they have crossed the line," she said in a chance interview in Tarlac on Monday, March 13.

(For a very long time, there was intense viciousness. I was at the receiving end of all the viciousness so I never responded, I never fought back. But when the website was set up and they repeatedly attacked my late husband, I think they have crossed the line.)

"Iyong asawa ko wala dito to defend himself kaya ako iniisip ko kung ano'ng aksyon. Pinag-aaralan," the Vice President also said.

(My husband is not here to defend himself that's why I'm thinking of possible actions to take. We're studying our options.)

Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said they could file a case that would go beyond libel.

"While it seems to be within the definition of libel, 'libel' does not fully capture the extent of the organized and deliberate attempt to use social media to spread lies. This is not just an offense against her or her family, which would normally be the scope of libel, but against the right of the public to the truth itself," Hernandez explained.

Battling cyberbullying

Robredo also urged ordinary netizens to file cases if they are being attacked online, citing the heated exchanges and threats common nowadays on social media.

"I encourage them to file cases or else this will only persist," the Vice President said. "For me, enough is enough. Victims of cyberbullying should take legal action."

Cyberbullying, defined as "any bullying done through the use of technology or any electronic means," is included under Republic Act 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.

Robredo again reminded people to discuss issues in a proper manner, instead of attacking others or hiding behind anonymous accounts. (READ: Robredo urges millennials to fight misinformation– Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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