Leni Robredo pitched herself as president during CNN Philippines' Feb. 27 debate, offering "receipts" or proof of her accomplishments that her supporters said were like a jampacked verse from a Nicki Minaj rap.
Once called an "extraordinary housewife" by the sister of her chief rival, Bongbong Marcos and branded as "lugaw" and "lutang" by critics, Robredo listed the bills she pushed for as congresswoman and the pandemic response she mobilized as vice president.
The 56-year-old is banking on a grassroots cmpaign for a come-from-behind victory against survey frontrunner Marcos, to be the Philippines' third woman president.
Here's a look at Robredo's public service record, based on official data.
Widowed after her husband, former interior secretary Jesse Robredo, died in a 2012 plane crash, Robredo the following year won as Camarines Sur third district representative, ending almost 40 years of Villafuerte rule in the province.
During her three years in Congress, she served as vice chairman of the Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability, and Committee on Revision of Laws.
She was also a member of the Committee of Appropriations; Bicol Recovery and Economic Development; Climate Change; Human Rights; Land Use; Local Government; People’s Participation; Rural Development; Suffrage and Electoral Reforms; Welfare of Children; and Women and Gender Equality.
Robredo, an advocate of the Freedom of Information Act, authored the House bill seeking transparency and accountability in government. She also authored a bill to create a People's Council in every local government unit (LGU) to encourage direct participation of the people in governance.
An ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, Robredo also championed the Anti-Discrimination Bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, belief, and disability, among others.
She also authored Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act and co-authored the Graphic Health Warning Laws, Decriminalizing Premature Marriage, and Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act. She was also credited for championing the Philippine National Railways Charter Extension law.
In October 2015, Robredo said she would run for vice president under the Liberal Party alongside standard bearer Mar Roxas.
Robredo became the second female vice president of the Philippines after she beat ex-senator Marcos Jr. in 2016 by a margin of 263,473 votes. After a five-year battle, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Marcos Jr's protest for lack of merit.
Robredo served as part of Duterte's Cabinet twice. In July 2016, she was appointed as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, like the two vice presidents before her.
Because of "irreconcilable differences" between the president and vice president, then Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco Jr. texted Robredo in December 2016 relaying Duterte's message for her “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings." With the order making it impossible for her to perform her duties in the Cabinet, she resigned from the position after five months.
In October 2019, Duterte appointed Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), another Cabinet position, after she criticized the handling of his war against drugs.
After meeting with United Nations representatives, U.S. officials and other Philippine officials to discuss the possible amendment to the anti-narcotics law, Duterte sacked Robredo again, saying he didn't know her enough to trust her as his "alter ego".
She submitted a 40-page report on how to solve the gaps of Duterte's drug war after 18 days on the job. Robredo graded Duterte's anti-drug campaign "one out of 100" for focusing on small-time pushers and users and failing to capture the big fish in the narcotics trade.
Without any Cabinet position, Robredo turned her attention to her anti-poverty program Angat Buhay, bridging the gap between the public and private sector to address food security and nutrition, universal healthcare, public education, rural development, housing and resettlement, and women empowement.
The program's beneficiaries include the survivors of the 2017 Marawi siege, who were given hygiene kits and medicine, psychological aid, food packs, construction materials and. The OVP also provided temporary shelters for displaced families in the Angat Buhay Village in Marawi.
As of December 2021, the OVP program has partnered with 372 organizations, mobilizing about P520 million worth of resources that benefitted more than 321,000 families and 305,000 individuals in the country, the OVP said.
When the Philippines recorded its first COVID case in January 2020, Robredo urged Duterte to ban entry of passengers from mainland China. She also called for possible evacuation procedures for Filipinos in areas with COVID cases.
Robredo's office launched several pandemic response initiatives:
- Bayanihan E-Konsulta, a free teleconsultation service for outpatient cases in Metro Manila and nearby areas without access to doctors, providing free COVID Care Kits for those in need
- Swab Cab, a mobile COVID-19 testing service
- Vaccine Express, a drive-thru vaccination program aimed at speeding up jab rollout in select areas.
The OVP suspended its COVID response programs to avoid it being politicized during the campaign period. Comelec has yet to decide on its plea to allow the programs to continue during the pandemic.
Robredo's office earned the best rating possible from the Commission on Audit for three straight years, from 2018 to 2020, which she said highlighted her office's proper use of government funds.
The Office of the Vice President is also a holder of the ISO 9001:2015 certification, which means compliance with international standards on management. It first received the award in 2017, and was recertified in Febuary 2021.
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