Elitist? Robredo says her programs are for the masses

IP tribes raise Robredo, Pangilinan's hands

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo refuses to be associated with the “elitist” tag thrown against the opposition, stressing that her programs have been geared at helping the masses.

The presidential candidate addressed the issue on Monday during the rally of her slate in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

Study our project, though you’ve been shown fake news. The fake news is that we are too elitist. Right? Have you read about that? The fake news is we are too elitist, Robredo told the crowd in Filipino.

“But what’s the basis of us being called too elitist? Look at our lifestyle, our very simple lifestyle. Look at our projects. All of our projects are for the poor. So there’s no basis for calling us elitist,” she added.

Robredo mentioned some projects of the Office of the Vice President (OVP):

  • the anti-poverty program Angat Buhay
  • the COVID-19 response project hat helped a women’s group in Nueva Ecija make personal protective equipment which the OVP bought for medical frontliners
  • the assistance for two hospitals in the provinces that served poor families

She also promised that, if elected president, she would push more funds for the agriculture sector to ensure that farmers’ produce, like those from Nueva Ecija, would remain competitive against lower-priced imported goods.

Why are we doing this? We are not just content with a big rally because we want to show you that, if we are given another chance to serve you, this is the kind of government that you will see,” the vice president said.

“The government will be the one to approach people. The people will not find it hard to get noticed by the government because we ourselves will be the ones to come here to listen to all of you. And this is what we — Senator Kiko [Francis Pangilinan] and I — promise you — a sincere government,” she added.

During the early days of the campaign period, people in the Robredo camp have been criticized for allegedly being elitist, tending to distance themselves from supporters of other candidates, often belittling them in social media discussions.

The criticism has drawn Robredo’s attention. Last October, in an Iloilo rally, she asked her supporters to refrain from boycotting a restaurant just because it served meals to her political rival.

Media analytics firm Isentia picked this up and made it part of its outline about what campaigners should do to win.  According to Isentia, some voters refrained from talking with Robredo supporters because of their elitist vibe.

Robredo did not mention who had been spreading the claim that she was elitist. But it Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who is also running for president, who has been repeatedly tagging the vice president and her staff as elitists and condescending individuals.

Robredo and her Liberal Party (LP) have been fighting to remove the elitist tag for years now. Last November 2020, she shot down the claim that the unkept promises of liberals across the world had given rise to populist regimes.

Furthermore, she and LP have been stressing that such problems were addressed by allowing non-politicians to join the party.

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