Comparing Leni and Duterte is like comparing stones between apples. Leni being a charismatic, liberal and who’s forward-thinking pro-people approach to leadership has so far attracted many sane-minded electorate and praises from the business community here and abroad can be likened to tempting ripe red apple. Meanwhile, Duterte on other hand who’s gained popularity amongst the masses wit his small dick energy against criminality and has so far been internationally ridiculed for his policy of mass-butchery by killing innocent civilians and then later planting intrigues through fake evidence to justify their ”Nanlaban” claim can easily be likened to a stone. Cold and uncompromising.
For almost five-years. Duterte’s non-sense policies has since derailed economic progress in the country. In fact, according to an article published in Rappler that the International Monetary Fund foresees our economy will shrink by 8.3%, while ASEAN-5 in general will shrink by only 3.4%. The Asian Development Bank estimates a 7.3% contraction. The World Bank expects a 6.9% downturn, possibly 9.9% if worse comes to worst.
One of the most obvious reason is that Duterte in all his capacity as President. Failed to act on timely and decisive manner to curb the spread of the China Virus (COVID-19) as a result of his repeated stubbornness to heed the calls of medical experts including the Vice President herself to close our borders with China and Hongkong.
Duterte relented out of his undying love to China and allowed the entry of Chinese citizens and tourists coursing through Hongkong to enter the country. Unfortunately, one of those tourists were infected with the deadly COVID-19 virus. The patient travelled all throughout many of Philippines urbanized islands and unknowingly spread the disease in the country. As a result, COVID-19 spread like wildfire thereby forcing local government units to imposed lockdowns which naturally hampered the economy, closing down businesses and starving many families.
Worst, it took awhile for these lockdowns to be lifted. Thus, delaying economic recovery at a time where it is greatly needed. Philippine’s is one of ASEAN’s lowest slump of -7% and also the slowest in terms of economic recovery.
What can Leni do to save the country? Of course, be the President either now through Duterte’s impeachment or by means of elections in 2022. We can only hope that Duterte in his desperation to keep him and his allies in power succeeds in convening the Congress into a single chamber and then ultimately change the course of Constitutional succession to remove the Vice President.
Leni’s unparalleled leadership was influenced by none other than her husband Jesse Robredo who dedicated his life to public service for the people of Naga City. He won the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s Nobel Prize, for public service and was even cited as “a Filipino icon for good governance because of sheer dedication, untarnished reputation, and visionary leadership as the three-term Mayor of Naga City”.
But just history repeats itself, her husband died while committed to his duty as Secretary of Interior and Local Government aboard a small Piper Senica plane as it crashed near Masbate Island. As Leni was famously quoted,
“I have not always been in politics; it was my late husband, Jesse, who was the politician in the family. While he was busy as the mayor of Naga City, I was working as a human rights lawyer, supporting him, and taking care of our home behind the scenes. It was the life I chose, and it was the life I loved,” Robredo wrote in her article, “This is the Time for Women to Shine”, as part of the 25th Anniversary Silver Lining series of the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats (CALD).
In retrospect, before 21 August 1983, very few Filipinos have heard of Corazon “Cory” Aquino until that fateful day when she became a widow. The same can be said of Leni Robredo. All of a sudden, she’s suddenly getting all the media attention after being the widow of a great leader like Jesse.
“My years as a lawyer were spent providing legal aid to indigent clients in far-flung areas—farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, laborers, and abused women and children. We would sleep in boats and makeshift huts because there was nowhere else to spend the night. We taught people paralegal skills and explained their rights under the law, so they could defend themselves even after we left. That was my work for more than a decade, and I may never have given it up if Jesse did not pass away so suddenly.”
Leni is not a very popular candidate in 2016 elections. Barely, none really ever talked or even recognized her in my home city of Cebu, compared to the more popular and seasoned politicians like Bongbong Marcos and Alan Peter Cayetano. It was a challenging campaign for her — that’s for sure. But her fate has been sealed. The people has spoken and voted for her, garnering a total vote count of 14,436,337 votes. It was an unexpected victory, but truth be told. the people were actually concerned on Duterte’s radical popularity and vicious policies. They though that by combining Leni with Duterte may keep him at bay, which is exactly what happened five-years later.
Without Leni, Philippines would have been in a much much worst situation. She’s a vital that can keep Duterte and his drooling attack dogs at bay. She makes the government look and appear legitimate to accept our taxes. Even though, she’s isn’t getting much priority of state-funding and instead Duterte chose to stockpile our taxpayer money in his confidential intelligence funds.
Nevertheless, Leni’s action-oriented and progressively pro-people policies and projects will surely benefit the Philippines in the long-run. Of course, if we be so wise to give her that opportunity.