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Despite limited resources, Robredo vows to block Marcos return to power

Amid the legal challenge to her victory in the 2016 elections, Vice President Leni Robredo said she will do all she can to block former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos from securing her post.

In an apparent reference to the electoral protest filed by Marcos against her, Robredo said she will face the challenges even as she admitted that she does not have the same resources as Marcos.

“Siyempre walang sinabi ‘yung kakayahan [ko] na… with resources, na pigilan siya. Pero ‘yung sa akin, kahit hindi pantay ‘yung aming pinanggagalingan, gagawin ko ‘yung lahat para siguraduhin na hindi siya makakabalik,” Robredo said at a student forum in UP-Los Baños.

She noted that “fighting an impending Marcos return” was among the factors that convinced her to accept the offer to run for vice president under the Liberal Party in the May 2016 elections.

“Ito ‘yung matagal na pinaglaban, ‘eto ‘yung political awakening ko nu’ng ako ay college pa, at ngayon nabibigyan tayo ng pagkakataon na harangan na makabalik,” Robredo said.

“Kaming mas matatanda sa inyo, pinagdaanan namin ‘yung mga panahon na maraming karapatang pantao ‘yung nalabag, in the name of power and wealth. Ako, I’m sure, marami sa nakaranas ng madidilim na panahon na ‘yun, ayaw na ‘yung balikan,” she added.

Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, whose decades-old reign, many said, is marked with abuses, including human rights violations.

Robredo, who is also facing impeachment threats, made the remarks in response to a student who asked her to comment on the ongoing electoral protest.

The widow of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said she was saddened by efforts exerted by a Marcos scion. She again pointed out the “unpaid dues” incurred by his family.

She implied anew that Marcos is using his resources to help in “concerted” attacks against her, especially online

“Sa akin lang, nakakalungkot na may mga kautangan sa bayan na hindi pa nababayaran, at ‘yung kautangan na ‘yun, ‘yun din ‘yung ginagamit para makabalik sa kapangyarihan,” Robredo said.

“‘Yung ‘yung para sa akin nakakalungkot. Tapos na ‘yung eleksyon. Tingin ko alam niya naman na hindi siya nadaya. Tingin ko alam niya naman ‘yun. Pero ‘yung desire na makabalik sa kapangyarihan, ‘yun ‘yung nakakatakot,” she added.

“Itong gulo sa social media, kabahagi ito nu’ng pagkatalo nu’ng eleksyon. I’m sure you’re well aware na ‘yung mga nangyayari ngayon sa social media, hindi na totoong mga tao. Ano na ‘to, men and machine, na nangyayari dahil sa paggamit ng pera,” Robredo further said.

The forum came a day after Marcos formally asked the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to dismiss her counter-protest over her “failure” to pay the initial P8 million required cash deposit for the case. 

Marcos, through his lawyers, made the said motion after he settled the first installment of fees required from his end, which amounted to P36 million.

Marcos and Robredo were required by the PET to raise a total of P81.46 million, which will be used for the retrieval of contested ballot boxes and election documents from contested precincts.

Of this amount, determined at P500 per established precinct, P66 million must come from Marcos, covering a total of 132,446 established precincts, within 39,221 clustered precincts. The other P15.4 million was required from Robredo for the 8,042 counter-protested clustered precincts.

The Vice President’s legal counsel, Romulo Macalintal, assured that they will comply with the tribunal’s order, should it insist on the payment when it resolves the manifestation they filed last week. —KBK, GMA News