VP electoral protest

Disbelief, ‘sweet’ vindication: Robredo shares moment she learned of SC win

Mara Cepeda

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Disbelief, ‘sweet’ vindication: Robredo shares moment she learned of SC win

ONE AND ONLY VP. Vice President Leni Robredo holds a press conference on February 16, 2021.

Photo by Jay Ganzon/OVP

Vice President Leni Robredo heaves a sigh of relief after enduring almost 5 years of false propaganda hinged on the electoral protest

For close to 5 years, a high-profile election case cast a shadow of doubt on the legitimacy of Leni Robredo’s vice presidency. 

So when the Supreme Court (SC) finally ruled to dismiss the allegations of electoral fraud against her by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, Robredo could not believe it at first. 

The morning of February 16 started out like any day for the Vice President, who attended various meetings at her office in Quezon City.

Then the moment of truth arrived at 12 pm: Undersecretary Philip Dy, Robredo’s chief of staff, knocked on her door to tell her that justice reporters were breaking the news that the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, junked Marcos’ protest against Robredo. 

The Vice President went out of her office to watch the news herself.

“I invaded an office with a television set and found a number of my staff watching the Supreme Court briefing with the announcement that the SC, voting unanimously, dismissed the election protest. Most of our staff were euphoric. But Usec Boyet and I were still in disbelief,” Robredo said in a Facebook post late Tuesday night. 

A classic move on the part of the workaholic Robredo, the Vice President attended one more meeting and turned over donations to a beneficiary group before sitting down to let her SC victory sink in. 

When it finally dawned on her that she had indeed beaten Marcos – for the 3rd time, goes the memes – the vindication was “sweet.”

“I knew that, in the end, truth will prevail. But it was almost 5 years of being called names because of false propaganda hinged on the supposed election fraud. So when the vindication finally came, it was sweet,” said Robredo.

As the Vice President prepared for her press conference later that day, Dy bought pizza for everyone “as a sort of celebration.” 

In between bites, Robredo said she scribbled notes of what she wanted to tell the media and the rest of the nation.

It had not been an easy road for Robredo, who had to deal with an election case right after becoming the victorious underdog of the 2016 vice presidential race. 

Robredo beat 5 incumbent male senators then, with Marcos as her closest opponent. The Vice President won by just 263,473 votes, prompting Marcos to allege cheating and to file an election case against her.

But after over 4 years of litigation, the SC ruled to junk the entire case against Robredo – regardless of what Marcos and his camp want the public to falsely believe

The Vice President basked in her victory, but not for long. 

A day after defeating Marcos before the highest court of the land, Robredo is once again focused on doing what she can to help the country survive and recover from the crippling coronavirus pandemic. 

“We all wanted to savor the moment. Those of us who toiled and suffered all the wounds. So many people to thank – people who never lost faith and sacrificed just to fight for the truth,” Robredo said. 

“But tomorrow is another day. We go back to work, put behind the rancor and just thank the Almighty for keeping our faith and hope for our beloved country alive,” she added. – Rappler.com

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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.