(UPDATED based on Jessica Soho’s presidential interviews, aired on GMA on January 22, 2022.)
[READ our latest article: [ANALYSIS] Leni Robredo leads in Social Media, Google Trends and Voters’ Enthusiasm over Bongbong Marcos and other candidates]
Welcome to Politixxx Today’s profile of presidential aspirants. This series aims to know better the personalities who are vying to be the country’s 17th president. It provides an opportunity for readers to scrutinize their political background and platforms on hot-button issues.
Running as an independent candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo aims to win back Malacañang for the opposition after its drubbing in the past two elections. She is seen as the formidable competitor of former Senator Bongbong Marcos, whom she defeated in the 2016 vice-presidential race.
Age: 56 years old
Birthday: April 23, 1965
Mother: Salvacion Santo Tomas Gerona
Father: Antonio N. Gerona Sr.
Elementary: Universidad de Sta. Isabel (Naga City; 1972-1978)
High School: Universidad de Sta. Isabel (Naga City; 1978-1982)
College: University of the Philippines Diliman (1982-1986; BS Economics)
• University of Nueva Caceres (1986-1992; Bachelor of Laws; passed the bar in 1997).
• San Beda University Mendioa; Master of Laws (unfinished)
• Doctor of Public Administration (Polytechnic University of the Philippines; conferred in 2015)
• Doctor of Humanities (University of St. Anthony in Naga; conferred in 2017)
• Doctor of Laws (University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City; conferred in 2017)
Spouse: Jesse M. Robredo (d. 2012)
Civil Status: Widowed (m. 1987)
1. Jessica Marie “Aika” Robredo (b. 1988)
2. Janine Patricia Robredo
3. Jillian Therese Robredo
Net Worth: PhP11,904,280 (2020)
Political Affiliation: Liberal Party (2012-present)
Human Interest Information
Celebrity Crush: Piolo Pascual
Favorite Foods: Bicol Express, Tabagwang, Pili, Santol, Choc-Nut, Cheetos Jalapeño, Cheetos Puffs and Green Tea
Favorite Fictional Authors: James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Ken Follet, Dan Brown and Patricia Cornwell
First K-Drama Watched: “City Hunter”
Favorite K-Dramas: “Mr. Sunshine” and “Descendants of the Sun”
Favorite K-Drama Actors: Kim Rae-won and Gong Yoo
Favorite K-Drama Actresses: Park Shin-hye, Park Min-young and Son Ye-jin
YouTube Subscribers: 122,000
YouTube Lifetime Views: 7,088,145
Congressman, 3rd District, Camarines Sur (2013-2016)
Vice President (2016-2022)
Coordinator, Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligan (SALIGAN) (1998-2008)
Public Attorney, Public Attorneys Office (PAO) (1996-1998)
Authored and co-authored bills during the 16th Congress (2013-2016) that were enacted into law: 19
Pending authored and co-authored bills during the 16th Congress: 141
• Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act
• Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA)
• Open High School System Act
• Decriminalizing Premature Marriages
• Graphic Health Warning Act
• National Children’s Month Act
Initiatives as Vice President
- Angat Buhay Program
- Dormitories to healthcare workers during the pandemic
- Swabcab Project
- Vaccine Express
- Community assistance programs, locally funded projects and livelihood and training programs
Awards and Citations
- Thailand Government Honorary Outstanding Woman Award (2016)
- Filipina Women’s Network Most Influential Filipina Women of the World Award (2016)
- People Asia Magazine People of the Year (Awardee, 2021)
- Commission on Audit ‘Unqualified Opinion’ for the Office of the Vice President (2019-2021)
Platforms and Stand on Issues
|COVID-19 Pandemic||• “Kalayaan sa COVID” plan that includes sufficient wages to healthcare workers, free COVID-19 testing, sufficient vaccine supply and the implementation of a telemedicine system.|
• Strengthening the healthcare system by increasing the capacity of hospitals, installing a nurse for each barangay and fixing the PhilHealth agency.
• Hits the government’s “lack of sense of urgency” when COVID-19 was still pandemic; says that the government could have acted faster like purchasing personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontliners.
|Economic Recovery||• Will earmark PhP216 billion for cash aid to families affected by lockdowns.|
• PhP100 billion conditional assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
|Drug War Campaign||• Shift the drug war policy from enforcement to rehabilitation.|
• Appoint the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) head to lead the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) to carry out a more ‘holistic approach’ in eradicating the drug menace.
• Resolve extrajudicial killings.
• Carry out recommendations she suggested during her 18-day stint as ICAD chair.
|West Philippine Sea||• Recognize and leverage the 2016 arbitral ruling, adding it’s non-negotiable.|
• Form a coalition of nations to halt the militarization of China at the West Philippine Sea.
• Pursue an ‘inclusive and independent’ foreign policy that favors no country.
|Peace Talks With Communist Rebels||• Pursue localized talks with communist rebels as part of her ‘road-to-peace’ program.|
|Climate Change and the Environment||• Create a road map designed to lower electricity rates.|
• A holistic approach to climate change while aiding other sectors affected by modernization.
|Infrastructure||• Shift from the ‘costly’ Build, Build, Build program to ‘smarter’ infrastructure by providing access to digitization, upgrading the logistics industry, supporting agricultural workers, incentivizing innovation and extending credit to MSMEs.|
|Education||• Vows to gradually return face-to-face classes, starting in low-risk areas.|
• Ensure students would have a gadget to use for their education.
• Double the budget of the educational sector, from 3 to 6% of the GDP.
• Roll out a national learning assessment program and implement a remediation program for students with missed learning.
• Continue participating in international large-scale learning assessments.
• Allow teachers, school heads and school boards to deal with the pandemic locally.
|Agriculture||• Infrastructure program to spur rural development.|
• Invest in building farm-to-market roads, cold storage facilities and fish cages, among others.
• Double the budget of the agriculture sector, from 1.7 to 3.4% of the GDP in 2028.
|Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ+ Rights||• Support same-sex unions, saying she’s always open about ‘freedom of choice.’|
• In June 2021, she said that our society must not ‘discriminate and persecute anyone,’ but rather ‘embrace and welcome’ each other no matter their gender.
|The ABS-CBN Franchise and Press Freedom||• Supportive of ABS-CBN franchise. As recent as January, she said that ABS-CBN is helpful in information dissemination, especially in far-flung areas.|
• Underscores the importance of press freedom in a democracy: “Democracy cannot survive, much less flourish, without a free press that works to keep citizens informed by equipping them with a common, verifiable baseline of fact on issues pertinent to society and governance.”
|Divorce||• Doesn’t support divorce “at this point.”|
• Pass a marital infidelity law to treat adultery and concubinage equally.
|Labor Rights||• End contractualization.|
• Vows a stronger economy and better governance to protect household helpers here and abroad.
|Death Penalty||• As recent as 2019, the vice president underscored her opposition to the death penalty, saying that it will not resolve criminality in the Philippines.|
|Political Dynasty||• In 2018, she urged lawmakers to pass an anti-dynasty law before discussing to shift governance to federalism.|
• Blames the existence of political dynasties to poverty.
|Marcos’s Martial Law||• Calls on Filipinos to always be reminded of the atrocities that occurred during Martial Law amid a wave of misinformation and historical revisionism.|
Poverty and Income Inequality: Providing jobs is critical to resolving those problems, saying that there must be good governance and institutions must be fixed.
– Transparency, accountability and people empowerment to resolve issues like corruption and restore trust in government.
– Full disclosure policy, publicizing government transactions to deter overpricing and corruption.
– Pursue all corrupt officials to be imprisoned, vowing to fix the “slow” justice system.
Substitution by Withdrawal: Support
Mandatory Drug Testing: Support
Allowing 100% foreign ownership: Yes, but “only to open debates and discussions.”
Lowering the age of criminal liability (CURRENTLY set at 15 years old): Don’t support
Rights of Overseas Filipino Workers:
– Enter bilateral contracts with countries where OFWs are prevalent to protect their welfare.
– Fix the economy so OFWs will leave the country by choice, not a necessity.
– Provide training for OFWs so they can be skilled workers.
Disaster Resilience: “Build Back Better,” investing in disaster-resilient houses and ensuring that public schools can be utilized as evacuation centers to lessen the loss of life and property.
Visiting Forces Agreement: Support
Abolition of Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG): Don’t support
Allowing operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO): Don’t support
Legalization of Jueteng: Don’t support
Legalization of Medical Marijuana: Support
– Fix PhilHealth’s leadership by hiring a health economist who would handle its funds well.
– Give payouts to hospitals right now to avoid closure.
On Fake News:
– Proper implementation of laws criminalizing trolls online.
– Hold social media platforms responsible for allowing misinformation to prosper.
– Continue programs to rehabilitate Marawi City, which has been in place since the conflict erupted in 2017 – building houses, classrooms, and the like.
– Vows to help Marawi no matter if she wins the presidency or not.
Releasing their SALN to the Public: Yes.
Releasing their Medical Records to the Public: Yes.
Prohibition of Candidates Facing Charges: Support, but depends on the weight of the evidence.
Two-Party or Multi-Party System: Two-Party
Parliamentary or Presidential: Presidential
Notable Supporters in Business and Politics
- Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV
- Former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
- TG Limcaoco, Bank of the Philippine Islands CEO
- Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas
- Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Ogie Alcasid
- Maricel Soriano
- Sharon Cuneta
- Vice Ganda
- Liza Soberano
- Nadine Lustre
Graft and Corruption Charges
No graft and corruption charges on record
- Fake news surrounding Robredo has snowballed online ever since she announced her candidacy for vice president in 2015. [READ: Buntis? Fake VP? 6 Times VP Leni Robredo became target of online trolling & lies, and why it has to end NOW]
- Bongbong Marcos filed an electoral protest against Robredo, claiming she cheated in the 2016 elections; the Supreme Court has unanimously junked the petition after five years.
- President Duterte has had a frosty relationship with the vice president as the latter is the opposition’s de facto leader; in 2019, she fired the vice president just three weeks after giving the post of ICAD chair. As ICAD Chair, Robredo issued her recommendations to reform the anti-drug campaign of the government. She also requested for a full list of high value targets of anti-drug war operations which the PDEA and PNP declined.
Agcaoili, J.A. (2021). “’This must stop’: Robredo gathers retired generals, seeks ways to end China harassment.” ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/18/21/robredo-gathers-retired-generals-seeks-ways-to-stop-china-harassment.
Almario, A. (2021). “Supreme Court unanimously junks Marcos’ VP poll protest vs Robredo.” CNN Philippines. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/2/16/Supreme-Court-Bongbong-Marcos-Leni-Robredo-vice-president-poll-protest.html?fbclid=IwAR3KFHq8gYUbnLOvdjqRKjV-Qq9awhcnhJiQjg51WX2LUSIBmyjJdkBBlNg.
Antonio, R. (2021). “On Pride Month, Robredo calls for respect, equal protection for LGBTQIA+.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/06/07/on-pride-month-robredo-calls-for-respect-equal-protection-for-lgbtqia/.
Antonio, R. (2021). “Robredo’s trip from hometown: Best Bicolano food.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/07/26/robredos-trip-from-hometown-best-bicolano-food/.
Antonio, R. (2021). “Robredo touts full implementation of Kasambahay Law.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/10/26/robredo-touts-full-implementation-of-kasambahay-law/.
Arevalo, R. (2019). “Robredo insists death penalty won’t stop commission of crimes.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2019/07/26/robredo-insists-death-penalty-wont-stop-commission-of-crimes/.
Arguelles, M. (2018). “Leni: Pass anti-dynasty law first before changing to federal gov’t.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/977617/leni-pass-anti-dynasty-law-first-before-changing-to-federal-govt.
Ayalin, A. (2021). “Robredo reiterates stance vs labor contractualization.” ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/09/21/robredo-says-endo-not-right-should-be-stopped.
Cator, C. (2021). “Robredo’s net worth up to P11.9M in 2020.” The Manila Times. https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/06/10/news/robredos-net-worthup-to-p119m-in-2020/1802664.
Cepeda, M. (2021). “‘Democracy cannot survive, much less flourish, without a free press’ – Robredo.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/robredo-world-press-freedom-day-message-2021.
Cepeda, M. (2021). “Robredo’s China policy: Recognize arbitral ruling on West PH Sea first.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/robredo-china-policy-recognize-ruling-west-philippine-sea-first.
Cepeda, M. (2021). “Robredo’s infra plan to focus on farmers, fisherfolk, not just building edifices.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/robredo-infrastructure-plan-focus-farmers-fisherfolk-not-just-building-edifices.
Cepeda, M. (2021). “Robredo: Reducing emissions should not leave jeep drivers, energy sector behind.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/robredo-says-reducing-emissions-should-not-leave-jeepney-drivers-energy-sector-behind.
Cigaral, I.N. (2021). “Presidential hopefuls woo bizmen, bare economic plans.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/11/18/2142211/presidential-hopefuls-woo-bizmen-bare-economic-plans.
Fernandez, Y. (2015). “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Leni Robredo.” Spot.Ph. https://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/newsfeatures-peopleparties/63817/10-facts-you-didnt-know-leni-robredo.
Flores, H. (2018). “Robredo blames political dynasties for poverty in Philippines.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/04/09/1804211/robredo-blames-political-dynasties-poverty-philippines.
Gallardo, F. (2021). “Robredo eyes localized peace talks, an old proposal rejected by NDF.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/robredo-eyes-localized-peace-talks-old-proposal-rejected-ndf.
Galvez, D. (2021). “COA gives OVP highest audit rating for third successive year.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1452941/ovp-gets-highest-coa-rating-for-third-straight-year.
Geducos, A.C. (2021). “Agree or disagree?: Robredo weighs in on same-sex marriage, abortion, divorce.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/09/04/agree-or-disagree-robredo-weighs-in-on-same-sex-marriage-abortion-divorce/.
Lalu, G.P. (2020). “2020: A year OVP kept itself busy despite lack of funds, brickbats from Malacañang.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1377750/2020-a-year-ovp-kept-itself-busy-despite-lack-of-funds-brickbats-from-malacanang.
Lalu, G.P. (2021). “How to restore jobs? Robredo says address pandemic first, then economy opens.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1502020/how-to-restore-jobs-robredo-says-address-pandemic-first-then-economy-opens.
Lalu, G.P. (2021). “Robredo says her People of the Year award belongs to volunteers in fight vs COVID-19.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1418225/robredo-says-donors-volunteers-should-receive-local-magazines-people-of-the-year-award.
Legislative Information System. (n.d.). https://www.congress.gov.ph/legis/.
“Leni Robredo.” (n.d.). Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://www.inquirer.net/elections2016/leni-robredo/.
Madarang, C.R. (2021). “What’s on vice-president’s bookshelf? Robredo bares book collection.” Interaksyon. https://interaksyon.philstar.com/hobbies-interests/2021/01/27/184382/whats-on-vice-presidents-bookshelf-robredo-bares-book-collection/.
Marzan, J. (2021). “Iloilo City mayor confirms backing Leni: ‘Yes, definitely’.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/iloilo-city-mayor-confirms-backing-leni-robredo.
Mateo, J. (2021). “Robredo vows to double budget for health, agriculture.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/11/05/2139072/robredo-vows-double-budget-health-agriculture.
Mendoza, J.E. (2021). “Robredo to set a ‘drug war’ that focuses on rehab and prevention than ‘kill, kill, kill.’ Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1508254/robredo-to-set-a-drug-war-thats-more-on-rehab-and-prevention-than-kill-kill-kill.
“More celebs, musicians, artists, influencers express their support for Robredo run.” (2021). ANCX. https://news.abs-cbn.com/ancx/culture/spotlight/10/08/21/40-more-celebs-artists-express-support-for-leni-run.
Punzalan, J. (2021). “Robredo’s vision for PH: Fairness reigns, plans are carried out, officials are honest.” ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/18/21/what-is-vice-president-leni-robredos-vision-for-ph.
Ramos, C.M. (2021). “VP Robredo: Never forget, learn from dark days of martial law; fight historical revisionism.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1490596/vp-robredo-never-forget-learn-from-atrocities-of-martial-law.
Rey, A. (2021). “Robredo’s pandemic response plan: Freedom from COVID-19, hunger, lack of education.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/robredo-covid-19-pandemic-response-plans-freedom-from-covid-19-hunger-lack-education.
“Robredo named most influential Filipina.” (2016). The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/08/24/1616771/robredo-named-most-influential-filipina.
Romero, A. (2019). “Weeks after appointment, Duterte fires Robredo from ICAD.” The Philippine Star. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/11/24/1971543/weeks-after-appointment-duterte-fires-robredo-icad.
“Strengthen healthcare system, fight hunger, continue learning: Robredo details pandemic recovery plan.” (2021). CNN Philippines. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/11/3/Leni-Robredo-COVID-pandemic-recovery-plan.html.
“These Businessmen, Socialites, and More are Supporting the #LetLeniLead Campaign.” (2021). Esquire Philippines. https://www.esquiremag.ph/politics/news/leni-robredo-presidential-campaign-2022-celebrity-reactions-a00203-20211011-lfrm.
Unite, B. “Robredo to shift toward ‘smart’ infrastructure to regain pre-pandemic economic growth.” Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2021/11/18/robredo-to-shift-toward-smart-infrastructure-to-regain-pre-pandemic-economic-growth/.
Vice President Leni Robredo Visits Thailand to Receive the ‘Honorary Outstanding Woman Award 2016.’ (2016). Embassy of the Philippines Bangkok, Thailand. https://bangkokpe.dfa.gov.ph/embassy-headlines/636-vice-president-leni-robredo-visits-thailand-to-receive-the-honorary-outstanding-woman-award-2016.
“VP Leni Robredo talks about her favorite K-dramas, actors.” (2021). GMA News. https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/lifestyle/hobbiesandactivities/776741/vp-leni-robredo-talks-about-her-favorite-k-dramas-actors/story/.
“VP Robredo says ‘supportive’ of ABS-CBN franchise bills.” (2021). ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/10/21/vp-robredo-says-supportive-of-abs-cbn-franchise-bills.
“WATCH | VP marks 1st year too. Here’s what she’s done.” (2017). Interaksyon. https://interaksyon.philstar.com/breaking-news/2017/06/30/82107/vp-marks-1st-year-too-heres-what-shes-done/.