Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said she was “humbled” by the endorsement of 23 ex-Cabinet officials under the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos for her presidential bid this May.
“(I am) humbled by the support of Cabinet members and senior officials of the Ramos administration. I look up to the leadership that FVR (Fidel Valdez Ramos) espoused, which I believe was affirmed by the brilliant people who served alongside him — matitino at mahuhusay (honorable and competent),” she said in a statement.
“Many have said that FVR had one of the best pools of Cabinet secretaries in recent years. Honored by the faith you have placed upon me, sirs and ma’ams. Rest assured that I will always try to be worthy of the trust that you and our fellow Filipinos have given me,” she said.
Erstwhile National Economic and Development Authority chief Cielito Habito, ex-Foreign Affairs secretary Roberto Romulo, ex-Justice Secretary and current Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, ex-Finance Undersecretary Milwida Guevarra, and ex-Health Secretary Carmencita Reodica backed Robredo.
“The country needs to elect a leader who will lead to a unified, humane, just, progressive, economically vibrant, sustainable and equitable society that is the dream of every Filipino. We believe that Vice President Leni Robredo is the only presidential candidate who possesses the above-described qualities, and who can credibly lead us Filipinos closer towards that dream,” the former officials said in a statement.
“We therefore enjoin our fellow Filipinos to support her candidacy, as we ourselves pledge our wholehearted commitment to do our share to help her become the next President of the Republic of the Philippines,” it added.
The Ramos-era officials also raised alarm for the proliferation of misinformation, dubious promises and outright falsehoods, deliberate thought manipulation especially via social media through the use of large numbers of fictitious accounts and mercenary troll armies;
Misuse of certain polls and surveys that may not necessarily reflect and represent true voter preferences, and continued patronage and money politics that have traditionally perpetuated undesirable dynasties and diverted people’s choices away from electing principled leaders.
“The country sorely needs a leader who will inspire unity, solidarity and teamwork in government and among all Filipinos; empower our people, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized in society; and bring out the best of servant leadership in government officials and public servants,” the group said.
This can be done “by being the foremost example of integrity, dedication, professionalism, level-headedness, statesmanship, pursuit of excellence, hard work, and true caring and sharing for our fellow Filipinos.”
“These are the leadership qualities that we directly witnessed President Ramos espouse and exemplify, and which we seek in the next President of our country,” the group noted.