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    Head Start ANC Interview with Vice President Leni Robredo

    17 February 2017

    Q: Thank you Ma’am for coming and giving us this interview. It’s been 7 months since you became vice president, how would you define your role in this administration?

    VP Leni: Naku mahirap. I think there have been many changes already since after the inauguration. If you recall before the inauguration the President already made a statement that he did not intend to give me any Cabinet post.

    So even before the inauguration, that was what my staff and myself have been preparing for—6 years without any cabinet post.

    So we tried to device a program for the Office to make the Office more advocacy heavy because for a very long time it’s more ceremonial and political. But I was telling my staff because also of my history, because of the work that I’ve been doing even before I entered into politics, I would want to reinvent the office into something more advocacy heavy. So that was what we have prepared for.

    So after the inauguration that was what we were doing. But a week after that, I was appointed as chairman of HUDCC. So for about 6 months, that was what occupied my time.

    I was more in HUDCC than in the Office of the Vice President, considering that there were a lot of things that needed to be taken cared of as far as housing was concerned.

    And I really fell in love with the work that I was doing there, the challenges were really enormous but I felt that it was something that I could really make a difference in.

    So when the unexpected happened early December and I felt that I did not have any other recourse but to give up the post, I was back in OVP. But at that time the advocacy program called Angat Buhay was already rolling so that’s what’s occupying most of my time already.

    Of course the reality is that even if I’m number 2 in the country, I don’t have a lot of elbowroom to really make a difference.

    But it’s something that I have to accept. And I’ve been telling everyone in the Office that we have to make do with what is there. Despite the limitations I think we’re doing okay.

    Q: You didn’t see this coming?

    VP Leni: First of all, I didn’t see the HUDCC…

    Q: Even this experience. I mean the whole experience of no Cabinet post, I have a Cabinet post, out of the Cabinet…

    VP Leni: I was telling myself that I did not sign up for this. You remember that I was sort of thrust into running for the vice presidency, when before that I was even contemplating on just ending my term in congress and going back to private life. That was what I was preparing for the entire 3 years that I was in Congress. So when I was thrust into being a candidate everything happened so fast. Parang I sort of had to keep up.

    Q: Did you change as a person? Have you become cynical? Less idealistic?

    VP Leni: Not really. You know I’m still very hopeful now despite the many difficulties. I’m still hopeful that things will be better. I can’t afford to be cynical at this point because, parang iyong hope is what keeps me going. And also despite the limitations, I actually see so many opportunities. Right now the flagship program of the office, the Angat Buhay program, is forcing us to partner with so many private organizations.

    Q: Because there’s no money.

    VP Leni: There’s no money, I don’t have a budget for that and the only thing that we can do is turn the office into a sort-of conduit between LGUs needing help and private corporations wanting to help.

    It’s been very encouraging in the sense that I did not know what so many people were really looking for ways to partner. So many people were really looking for opportunities to help.

    Q: How would you measure the success of Angat Buhay?

    VP Leni: We’re doing okay. We adopted 50 of the poorest LGUs. And during our launch in October 10, we invited about 200 development partners and conceptualized a sort of a development speed dating where we tried to set-up the LGUs with the partners.

    And in one day we were able to gather 720 pledges for projects. And now at least 2 days a week I devote to going to the provinces, bringing with us the partners who are willing to adopt these LGUs. And you know out of the initial 200 something development partners, so many organizations are coming to us and saying we want to be part of the program.

    Q: Do you let the President know that you’re doing this?

    VP Leni: When I was still part of the Cabinet. I was reporting that we were doing these things, I was actually in very close coordination with CabSec Evasco.

    In fact we invited him over during the launch. He wasn’t able to go but he sent his deputy CabSec to keynote.

    Q: You recently attended LEDAC.

    VP Leni: Yes.

    Q: What was that like?

    VP Leni: It was very cordial. You know it happened the afternoon of the Miss Universe pageant. And you know even in the morning I was asking my staff, did they not disinvite me?

    Half of me was sort of expecting that I would be disinvited, which was okay but I was of course, half of me was also wishing that I wouldn’t get disinvited because it was an opportunity also for me to push for my own advocacies. The legislative measures I would want to push. And as of 4PM I wasn’t disinvited, so I attended. And the President was very cordial.

    Q: You sat in front of him?

    VP Leni: Yes, yes. Where I usually sat during Cabinet meetings. He was very cordial. The things that I contributed during the discussions, he was very open to them. Ano naman, I think the relationship was okay. It wasn’t very warm, but it was okay.

    Q: You brought up some clarificatory questions. You wanted to push for the National Food Security Bill, a few bills more. And you brought it up during the meeting.

    VP Leni: I brought it up during the meeting but because there was no time, I just asked the NEDA SecGen, Sec. Pernia, if I could be given one week to submit our proposals. And I was given time, and we able to submit it already.

    You know we were discussing so many bills and the time allotted to us was not really nearly enough. In fact we were trying to discuss I think 19 socio-economic bills but we were only able to discuss 9, because there was no more time. But the discussions were okay.

    Q: Now people with bigger egos may be very offended if they’re invited, disinvited. People don’t even do that to parties usually.

    VP Leni: Yes. But you know Karen, I’m trying to focus on what I’m here for. I think this is not the time to have egos as far as the office is concerned. I’m here because of the mandate given to me by the people and because I’m Vice President I’m supposed to be supportive of the president and be his partner in running the country. But because I’m not given that much opportunity to partner with him, I’m doing the best I can to make do with whatever is there.

    Q: Have you ever spoken to him after? On a more personal note?

    VP Leni: No, no. I wasn’t given that opportunity. I was trying to set a meeting with him, I was trying to seek time to talk to him personally before I tendered my resignation but I wasn’t given that chance.

    And for me that was a signal that the president wasn’t ready to discuss those things with me, I respected his decision.

    In fact there have been a few times that I was supposed to be in Malacanang but I would be disinvited which was okay. But I’ve always told my staff that I’m supposed to be there, I’ll be there. No egos, no space for egos anymore.

    Q: State dinners. Have you ever been invited to one?

    VP Leni: No, no no. I’ve been invited to the Vin d’honneur, but I was disinvited before it happened. I was ready to go just to, you know, I think it would have been a good opportunity to show not only the Filipinos but our friends in the diplomatic corps that when work is concerned, the President and I are okay. But because I was disinvited, I also don’t want to force myself in the sense that it might create discomfort.

    Q: So hindi ka napipikon?

    VP Leni: Hindi, Karen, hindi. Tingin ko kasi these things happen. You know my husband and I have gone through so much as far as his political career was concerned before, I wasn’t part of politics yet.

    But parang nasanay ako na always swimming against the odds. For a very long time my husband was part of the opposition, during the time of President Arroyo. He was not welcome in many occasions.

    Hindi nakakatanggap ng tulong galing sa national government. So iyong pagiging outside the kulambo is something that I’m comfortable with. Ang sa aking lang parang lugi ako kapag napikon ako.

    Kasi I won’t be able to do my job anymore. So ang akin naman, ito Karen, I may disagree with the policies of the president from time to time, but tingin ko ang personal namin we’re okay.

    Ewan ko lang if I’m misreading things. Pero when I was still part of the cabinet, I was warmly received by the president each and every time. The president has not said anything derogatory against my person, even when I was out of cabinet already.

    So I try to maintain it na ganoon, na kung kokontra ako, kokontra ako sa mga polisiya. Pero hindi iyong, I think lugi ang bansa kapag mag-aaway kami on a personal level.

    Q: Your statements have been becoming more fearless as the days go by. I’ve seen them. Would you describe yourself as an opposition VP?

    VP Leni: I think it’s not very accurate na sabihin na opposition. Kasi kapag opposition ibig sabihin everything that the administration stands for, I oppose. Hindi naman ganoon.

    I only oppose, and I passionately oppose, against certain issues I feel so strongly against. Halimbawa iyong re-imposition ng death penalty.

    Q: Why do you ano. I think it’s quite interesting why are you against it?

    VP Leni: For many reasons. Ang akin pagdating sa commitments natin. Ito hindi na ito sa, kasi ang sa pagpatay, naniniwala kasi ako Karen, I’ve been a human rights lawyer for a long time. Naniniwala ako na ang core na ating criminal justice system is not punitive, but it’s one of reformation and re-integration into society. Hindi tayo nawawalan ng pag-asa sa tao na nagkasala.

    Q: But there are many countries with the death penalty.

    VP Leni: Pero marami na din na wala. Mas marami na ngayon na wala. Tapos we’re signatories to a few treaties na nangangako tayo na we’ll never re-impose death penalty again.

    One of them iyong second optional protocol ng international covenant on civil rights. Sinasabi natin na nangangako tayo na hindi na natin ire-reimpose ang death penalty. Parang para sa akin pag ni-reimpose natin iyon paurong uli tayo.

    Q: House Speaker Alvarez said, because you said that the house, I think arm-twisting, threatening to get the votes. And he said something like, you know what, resign and run for House Speaker.

    VP Leni: Ako hindi ko na iyon papatulan, Karen. Baka I might have ruffled his feathers when I said that. But I’m not also backing out of whatever I said.

    I’m friends with a lot of people I’ve been with in the 16th congress. And sila ang nahihirapan na maraming arm-twisting.

    Marami akong kaibigan na committee chairmen na sinasabihan sila na kung hindi sila boboto sa death penalty, they will be replaced.

    Marami ang naiipit and I wish it wouldn’t happen. I wasn’t a member of the 15th congress yet but I was asking them, noong RH ba when it was being passed into law nangyayari din ba ang ganitong arm-twisting?

    Ang sabi nila hindi. Kahit sa aming partido, we were the administration party before and we were asked to vote according to our conscience pero walang ganito.

    Iyong sa akin lang parang ang position on death penalty, I’m really big na hindi siya puwedeng ipapasa dahil lang sa fear na mawawala iyong position. I think it is something that has to be decided by each and every member of Congress based on what they believed in.

    Q: Does the culture of impunity worry you?

    VP Leni: Yes kasi ngayon those who were victimized by extra judicial killings, hindi lang sila ang biktima. Hindi lang pamilya nila but the entire society.

    We’ve been receiving groups of people na nagrereklamo tungkol sa pinagdadaanan nila at ang mga grupong ito mga mahihirap talaga and iyong feeling na they can’t turn to government for help kasi iyong gobyerno ang kaaway nila.

    Iyong feeling ng takot. Iyong feeling na even if they did not do anything, they can be a victim anytime. It shakes the very fiber of our society and tingin ko iyong moral fiber natamaan na.

    Q: That life is cheap?

    VP Leni: Oo. Iyong number of deaths everyday we don’t get scandalized by them anymore. We don’t see the ourtrage na dapat sana andoon. Doon lang sa amin, Karen, wala namang patayan sa Naga kahit mainit ang pulitika wala namang namamatay.

    All of a sudden may mga namamatay na because of this. Na-iiskandalo tayo na may mga listahan at may mga quota.

    Q: Do you support the President’s war on drugs?

    VP Leni: Yes. Our problem on drugs is huge but I do not think that this is the way to do it?

    Q: What is the way then?

    VP Leni: Para sa akin go to the very root of the problem. Treat it as a public health issue. When the Philippine National Police was given blanket authority, given an assurance that whatever cases they face, they will be exonerated or they will be pardoned, sa akin parang warning signal na iyon dahil you remove all vestiges of accountability. It was ripe for abuse at iyong kinatatakutan natin nangyari talaga.

    Q: Do you think PNP Chief Dela Rosa can still be effective?

    VP Leni: I am not privy to the problems sa PNP leadership but I do not think his resignation alone will solve the problems in PNP. Tingin ko dapat masmalalim ang paglinis sa PNP at hindi lang ang pagrereassign sa tao.

    Tingin ko the entire system needs to be addressed. Parang hindi na takot iyong ibang mga pasaway na pulis and they are affecting the entire organization.

    Q: Where do you stand in the case of Senator Leila de Lima?

    VP Leni: Ako, Karen, anyone na nagkasala whether she is a member of the party or not kailangang managot. But if you look at the cases filed against Senator Leila lahat iyon umusbong when she started the investigations on extra judicial killings and iyong mga susunod na nangyayari, it was apparent that it was already political harrassment and apparent na iniipit siya because of what she wanted to do with regards to the investigation.

    She was accused of many things pero the way are turning out now, it is becoming more and more apparent na iyong sinasabi na evidences against her parang walang pinapakita.

    Lately iyong pinakahuling iskandalo na may bribery involved, promise of privileges sa mga tao na tetestify kay Senator Leila, ito iyong nakakatakot na nag-member of Congress ay subjected to this type of harrassment. Paano na iyong ordinaryong taong nasama lang ang tao sa listahan?

    Q: You did not feel any intimidation as you are very outspoken on issues?

    VP Leni: Many people actually tried to warn me. When I was still a member of the Cabinet, Karen, I was trying to balance things because I was supposed to be one of the alter egos of the president as far as housing is concerned.

    I was trying to be prudent about the things I was saying but even then with regards to issues that I felt strong about I was vocal already.

    The first issue that I was vocal about was my opposition to the burial of former President Marcos. But the President respected my position on the matter.

    In fact in one of the Cabinet meetings, I recall telling the President, “Thank you, Mr. President for not taking it against me.”

    And he even assured me that we may have differences but as far as work goes nagkakaintindihan tayo. So I took that, that I was okay as long I did not attack the President on a personal basis.

    I expressed my opposition on his policies but that was about it. But when I became more vocal, I received many warnings from people that are supportive of myself na pag tinuloy tuloy mo yan ma-Leila de Lima ka din but its always a choice.

    Q: On talks that Bongbong Marcos will be given a Cabinet post…

    VP Leni: There is talk that he will be appointed at the DILG, there were talks like this as early as the inauguration but he can’t be appointed yet.

    It is always the President’s privilege, who to appoint in his Cabinet but my concern here is that the Marcoses have not paid for what they did to the country.

    There have been several decisions already asking them to payback whatever they got from the people but all of these judgments are not satisfied yet and now he is aiming for another Cabinet position and for me that is scary in the sense that he will again be given an opportunity to do what they did before.

    Q: Is DILG strategic?

    VP Leni: Yes because at the DILG you will be given the opportunity to engage all local government units, all local chief executives, all officials of LGUs and it is an opportunity to gain ground.

    Q: Do you feel that your Office still under threat?

    VP Leni: It will always be under threat.

    Q: Given the protest of the Marcos camp –

    VP Leni: You know all the allegations are not really backed by evidence. If you recall, when the SC ordered COMELEC to turnover to Smartmatic all unused SD cards, Bongbong Marcos made a statement that these SD cards contain evidence of poll fraud and he was asked by our lawyer to prove it.

    In fact, Atty. Macalintal scheduled a memorandum of agreement between his lawyer and mine that in case he will be able to prove his claim, Atty. Macalintal will turnover his license as a lawyer just to prove that there is really no evidence to back up those claims and he did not respond to it and we took it as a sign that he was just bluffing.

    Q: Do you feel a constant threat from people wanting you out of Office?

    VP Leni: Not really people but it’s just Bongbong Marcos and his supporters but I can’t allow that to disturb me from what I do in the Office.

    I do not immerse myself from the rigors of case preparation, I leave that all to my lawyers so I can concentrate at what I am doing. We only have six years and it is not nearly enough to do what we want to do.

    Q: You have Angat Buhay and laylayan visits yet on social media you have these criticisms that nasa sosyalan na naman si VP Leni? Magtrabaho muna yan.

    VP Leni: I’ve been told that but I never really read social media posts from trolls. I think to a certain extent they have been effective in portraying me as somebody that I am not.

    It has been happening during the campaign and we thought it was going to stop after the elections but it did not. Mas gumrabe pa nga.

    Ang feeling namin nagkaisa ang iba’t ibang mga grupo and we have evidence that they are really paid social media trolls. Initial reaction there is to ignore and take the high ground pero now pag we ignore it the lies become truth kaya kami we try to correct it already.

    Halimbawa, we had a strategic planning here and one of the things that was decided was that the Office will inject physical activities for employees, one day we had a yoga instructor come in after Office and 16 of us joined.

    Ang bayad namin doon 200 per head tapos the instructer asked to have a picture taked, I acceded then she posted it on Facebook. Tapos ang kuwento na may personal tutor ako using the resources of government.

    Dati hindi namin iyong pinapansin pero ngayon we corrected it. In fact, my staff who joined in the exercise posted pictures of the entire class together. Iyong mga ganoon, kasi noong pinapabayaan namin parang nagiging totoo siya eh. And I think that’s what’s dangerous about social media now.

    While it’s very easy to correct things, it’s also very easy to perpetuate lies. And pag nagpapabaya tayo, parang nagiging contributory tayo doon sa mga kasinungalingan na sinasabi.

    Q: During Christmas I was abroad, but this was all over social media, and they said, VP Leni Robredo didn’t want to come back to the Philippines, she was in New York City staying at Loida Lewis’ house, binagyo na ang probinsya niya. What is the truth and what was the lie?

    VP Leni: Everything was a lie, I wasn’t in New York, I was in Pennsylvania. I was with my in-laws. Alam mo, Karen, since Jessie died, we’ve had four deaths in the family.

    Q: You weren’t even in New York.

    VP Leni: No, I wasn’t. I was only there when I was flying out. Noong namatay iyong asawa ko, the next one who died, in a span of two years, namatay apat sa pamilya.

    Si Jessie, iyong tatay ko, iyong mother-in-law ko, iyong father-in-law ko. After the four of them died, the siblings of my husband and my self decided that we will spend the holidays together.

    So mula noong namatay sila hanggang ngayon, talagang we make it a point, iba-ibang pinanggalingan, iyong in-laws ko nasa US, mayroong nasa Manila, mayroong nasa Naga, each and every Christmas talagang magkakasama kami.

    One time, we were together in Bukidnon, one time in Baguio, another time in Batanes. And this year, yung sister-in-law ko yung sponsor ng bakasyon, dun kami lahat sa New York. Ah, sa Pennsylvania.

    Pero we entered, you know, kasi we took Cathay Pacific. Mayroon siyang promo na buy one take one, so apat kami, ako, iyong tatlo kong anak. Pumasok kami sa Newark.

    At alam mo yung Newark, considered na part of New York even if it’s in New Jersey. Siguro nakita nila sa records na pumasok ako sa New York even though I wasn’t there, I was in Pennsylvania the entire time.

    Tapos bumagyo. Noong bumagyo I really wanted to go home. In fact, sinabi ko na sa mga anak ko na iwan na sila doon so that they can enjoy.

    It was a vacation that was planned more than a year ago, ayoko naman na ma-spoil iyong bakasyon ng mga anak ko, they were with cousins, and they only get together once a year.

    Iyong decision ko talaga, uuwi ako, iyong mga anak ko maiiwan. Of course, my children were not too sure it was a good thing to do. Sinasabi nila, kung uuwi ka mama, uuwi na kaming lahat.

    Q: What happened?

    VP Leni: Sinusubukan namin. Eh pero iyon pala, kung uuwi ako, dahil sale iyong aming ticket, dapat pala yung ka-take one ko, uuwi din. Ganoon pala, iyon iyong rule ng Cathay.

    So iyong sa amin nga, sabi ko tanungin na lang, tanungin na lang kung magkano ba, kasi I thought we would only be paying 150 dollars per head to rebook, pag sale pala, hindi ganoon.

    Q: But do you know how severe the bashing was?

    VP Leni: Yes!

    Q: No, not the storm, that was severe, but how you were hit on social media?

    VP Leni: Yes, yes. I was being told about it by members of my staff. But you know, I was busier trying to set up the relief operations in Naga than taking care of all the bashing.

    In fact, even before the storm hit, we already organized our relief operations just in case we’d get it hard, and we did. So talagang sige na iyon, I was trying to get tickets home, hindi naman, Karen, madali sa atin yung ibabayad na pamasahe.

    You know, when I said I was trying to get tickets home, siyempre mahirap sabihin na wala din akong that much money to buy an entirely, uhm, bagong airfare-

    Q: But the Office couldn’t have paid for that?

    VP Leni: No, no. Because it was a personal trip, I couldn’t ask the Office to pay for it.

    Q: For the ticket home?

    VP Leni: For the ticket home. I had tickets already, I was supposed to go back, I think January 3. I think starting December 27, I was trying to search for tickets, sobrang mamahal.

    Q: Looking back, do you wish you had done something differently?

    VP Leni: Ako, no, Karen. I wish I was here when the typhoon happened, but I knew that because I wasn’t here, I did everything I thought I could. And our relief operations were very effective, there was nothing I could have done more if I was here than when I was not.

    And ano iyon, we ended up still paying a lot because we decided to buy earlier tickets, nagbayad pa kami I think more than 4,000 dollars just to go back. And iyon, nakahanap kami ng tickets out of JFK, and that was the only day we went to New York, to catch the plane back to Manila.

    Q: Give me a minute, so were you, or were you not Loida Lewis?

    VP Leni: No, I never talked to her, I never saw her, I never had a meeting with her. I was in New York for a few hours only to catch the flight back to Manila. I had a quick dinner with some friends there but none of them was Loida.

    Q: So you feel this is unfair?

    VP Leni: Yes.

    Q: I mean, clearly this information must have gotten to the President.

    VP Leni: Yes, and the sad thing about it, Karen, was even the Secretary of Justice was the one saying that I was with Loida in New York, and I even spent a night at Loida’s house.

    So sa akin lang Karen, nakakalungkot iyon kasi, unang-una, they have access to all the information, they could have easily checked the facts, and yet they were so willing to spread lies.

    So sa akin, kung mga opisyal na mismo ng gobyerno ang nagsasabi nito, parang, saan pa tayo pupulutin?

    Q: Okay, let me jump to another topic, and you can answer this quickly. The former Colombian President, related to the war on drugs, gave a reaction. And the president’s response is, he’s an idiot or something like that. Or “idiot!” What’s your take on this kind of exchange?

    VP Leni: Ako kasi, Karen, it’s unfortunate that his remarks, the former President’s remarks, will just be dismissed just like that. Kasi we know what happened in Colombia, they waged a war on drugs for a very long time, decades even, and they were able to catch Pablo Escobar, the biggest drug lord there.

    And for the former President to humble himself and admit that despite everything, that they failed in the war on drugs. And I think, I would guess, that he wanted to share whatever experiences or lessons they’ve had.

    The least we could have done was, you know, give a little credit to what was being shared with us. So that we can learn from their mistake, we can learn from their lessons, we can learn from whatever their successes.

    Q: Okay, do you support President Duterte’s cancelling the peace talks? Was he justified in some way?

    VP Leni: Yes, yes. I think the President was very sincere. The President was very sincere when he extended his hand to the left. In fact he’s appointed several of them in his Cabinet. I think the least he was expecting was for the other side to also be that sincere.

    But you know, so many things have happened already. I am with the President, I am very supportive of his efforts in the peace talks, I think he was doing a great job out of it.

    He was in fact overextending already for the sake of peace. And you know, even if there has been a set-back at this time, I’m still hopeful that talks will continue, I’m still hopeful that both parties would not give up on our quest for peace.

    Q: And just to lighten it up at the end, there’s also talk about your love life. Are you really seeing this Congressman of the Liberal Party?

    VP Leni: You know, Karen, I’ve been linked to so many people. Yung pinaka, parang pinakamasaya nga, there’s a gay supporter in Naga I’m very close to, even our pictures have been prepared in to a collage already. And people are saying na ito na iyong bago kong boyfriend.

    But you know Karen, ayoko siyang pansinin. Ayoko siyang pansinin in the sense that people who know me, people who know the relationship I’ve had with with my husband, hindi naman maniniwala dito. Parang masyado siyang mababa para patulan. Nakakalungkot lang kasi, as I was telling you before-

    Q: Well you are a widow, you’re single, so some people think-

    VP Leni: I don’t have any plans of seeing anyone ever, Karen.

    Q: Really? Ever?

    VP Leni: Yes, yes. Ever.

    Q: But you’re young.

    VP Leni: I’m old!

    [laughter]

    Q: So you want to stay single for the rest of your life?

    VP Leni: Yes, yes. You know, I’ve been telling people, I’ve had enough love to last me a lifetime. Palagay ko, Karen, wala na akong makikitang pareho ng asawa ko.

    I think I’ve been blessed with 25 years to be in a very good marriage, walang need to see anyone, lalo nang ngayon na punong puno yung oras natin sa trabaho. I’m living a very public life, I’m with people 24/7, parang there’s no chance for that.

    Q: On a last note, you’re not in an easy position as Vice President. Right now the circumstances aren’t necessarily in your favor within the administration, how would you want to be remembered for, or seen? By the Philippines?

    VP Leni: Ako kasi, Karen, if this is an ideal situation, I want to be remembered as the Vice President who was a very good partner of the President in steering the Administration to progress.

    But because those circumstances are not present, iyong sa akin na lang, I want to be remembered as someone who did the best she could given, you know, a very difficult situation.

    Iyong sa akin, I don’t have political ambitions, Karen. So many people are advising me not to be very public about my opposition to some of the President’s policies, because the President is a very popular president, pero I’m not like that Karen eh. I can’t keep quiet about things I feel so strongly about.

    Q: So the Presidency is out of the question for you?

    VP Leni: Iyong sa akin Karen, you know naman the circumstances of why I’m here now. It wasn’t as if I dreamed of this, it wasn’t as if this was something I wanted to do.

    Ako nga, I was so looking forward, when I was in Congress, I was so looking forwrd to ending my three years in Congress. And ngayon yun pa din yung niloolook forward ko.

    At the end of six years, binibilang ko nga Karen, ano ba yung edad ko at the end of six years?

    Puwede ko bang balikan yung iniwan kong private life? And I think I still can.

    Q: On that note, Vice President Leni Robredo, thank you very much.⁠⁠⁠⁠

    Posted in Transcripts on Feb 16, 2017