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Leni Robredo's 'Angat Buhay'
By Elson . Elizaga, March 2, 2020. Revised November 4, 2021.
 

Vice president Leni Robredo. Photo from her Facebook. Photographer not indicated.
Vice president Leni Robredo. Photo taken from her Facebook. Photographer not indicated.

When Vice President Leni Robredo criticized the war on drugs, an apparent troll remarked in Facebook: "Please ask yourself if you have done something good for the country before maligning others."

Interesting comment. I did a research and discovered remarkable facts. First among them is the absence of a police record that Robredo has maligned anyone.

Years ago, when Robredo was still single, she stopped studying law so she could work as researcher for the Bicol River Basin Development Program. Then she founded the Lakas ng Kababaihan ng Naga Federation, which provides livelihood skills for women. Later, she became the coordinator of Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligan (SALIGAN), a private group that traveled to remote barangays to offer legal services. SALIGAN won the case for the Sumilao Farmers in Bukidnon.

When she became a member of Congress, she strongly supported the Freedom of Information Act and the Bangsamoro Basic Law.  She also wrote the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 3432) which prohibits prejudice against people with disability and HIV condition, or with "different" ethnic upbringing, religion, sexual orientation, and language. (Sass Rogando Sassot, take note.)

On October 10, 2016, five months after she was elected Vice President, Robredo launched her anti-poverty program called Angat Buhay (literally, lift life). A year later, Angat Buhay succeeded in providing P145 million worth of services to 83,707 poor families. This number reached 224,000 in December 2019.

As reported by Rappler, the services given by Angat Buhay from its launching in October 10, 2016 to October 12, 2017 were numerous and varied, such as "feeding and nutrition programs …food packs and multivitamins … livelihood opportunities for 7,691 farmers, fisher folk, and indigent families … classroom construction, teacher training, scholarships, school supplies, and other equipment that benefited 21,791 students, out-of-school youth, and teachers … P2.29 million worth of solar kits and generators, water filters, water pumps, hygiene kits, sinks, and toilet bowls for 1,868 individuals and 725 families … A total of 75,633 families affected by various natural calamities were given disaster rehabilitation aid P30.43 million from Angat Buhay’s partners and another P12.43 million from the OVP (Office of the Vice President).

"Angat Buhay was also able to help 3,646 indigent patients get assistive devices and free health services, while 935 women were able to attend product development and marketing workshops, gender and development planning, Violence Against Women orientations, and courses on hairdressing and cosmetology."

These are just some of the accomplishments of Robredo, her staff and 300 companies that support Angat Buhay. And she is not even the president. No wonder the Senate in 2018 increased the proposed budget for her office by P20 million.

President Rodrigo Duterte was likely awe-struck by Robredo's efficiency. My sense was he wanted to resign as early as 2017, so he could witness the transformation of the country with Robredo at the helm, but he appeared to have been restrained possibly by friends, possibly by the Communist Party of China (CCP), also a friend. The best he could do was appoint  Robredo in November 2019 as co-chair of The Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). I believe he knew the contraptions Robredo would discover.

And so, using simple mathematics and data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Robredo found out in January 2020 that the Duterte war on drugs is a flop.

As reported by Rappler:

"MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo gave President Rodrigo Duterte's government a dismal "1 out of 100" score in its flagship program to fight narcotics, saying that authorities were only able to seize 1% of the total supply of illegal drugs in the country.

"On Monday, January 6, [2020] Robredo slammed the bloody anti-drug campaign as a  "failure" as she finally revealed her findings during her 18-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in late 2019 ...."

The PNP quickly responded by claiming that Robredo used wrong data, and that the war on drugs was "100% successful," in stark contrast to Duterte's admission in 2018 that his promise to solve the drug problem was already a "fiasco" -- a complete, humiliating failure.

Robredo and her supporters have also provided assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Google "robredo covid assistance." But be wary of fake news. Careful internet research is one way we can serve our country. Black square indicates end of article.

 
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