Robredo passes opposition leadership to Hontiveros

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Courtesy: VP Leni Robredo/Facebook

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28) — After her loss in the presidential race, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday passed the opposition leadership to reelected Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“You are now the highest elected official sa oposisyon, and lahat kami masaya na ikaw ‘yung natitirang humahawak ng ating bandila,” Robredo said in her speech after administering Hontiveros’ oath of office.

[Translation: You are now the highest elected official in the opposition and all of us are happy because you are the one remaining holding our flag.]

Hontiveros was the lone opposition bet who made it to the Senate Magic 12.

Robredo prasied her for using her position to give voice to the powerless, and for pushing for good governance.

Kampante kami na patuloy mong ipapakipaglaban ‘yung lahat ng paniniwalaan natin kung ano ‘yung mabuti at tama sa pamamahala. Nandito lang kami lagi magsusuporta sa’yo. Kami na ‘yung mga sundalo mo ngayon, Sen. Risa,” Robredo added.

[Translation: We are confident that you will continue to fight for what we believe is good and right in governance. We are here to support you. We are your soldiers now, Sen. Risa.]

In her speech, Hontiveros said she will continue working with Robredo and other opposition leaders, parties, and movements to redress the inequality on the ground.

She assured that she will continue to push for her advocacies such as additional budget and support for agencies vital to the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hontiveros also issued a warning against peddlers of fake news as she vowed to fight back harder against disinformation.

“This is a stern warning to all the dubious characters in the fake news universe: This time, we will not let your reckless disregard for truth slander our democracy—our country— ever again,” she said.

Speaking to CNN Philippines, political analyst Richard Heydarian said Hontiveros’ clear leadership is what the opposition needs.

“What she showed is consistency throughout the past six years. She was never quite, she was never passive, she always took the fight to the administration and in the end actually paid out for her,” he pointed out.

While it is still unclear as to what Robredo’s next move will be, Heydarian said she “can learn a thing or two from Risa Hontiveros. Not only in terms of character, not only in terms of projection of strength, but also in terms of policy” if she wants to stay relevant and be able to exercise the political capital she gained throughout her presidential campaign.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.