MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo shows “stability under pressure” and is expected to show tough resolve when it comes to national security concerns despite her seeming soft appearance.
“Marami lang nag-underestimate dahil binibining Filipina siya kung kumilos, pero matibay po ang kalooban ni VP Leni (Many underestimate her because she acts like a true Filipino woman, but she is tough on the inside),” former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said in a statement on Sunday.
The former naval officer-turned-senator, who is eyeing a Senate comeback under the Robredo-Pangilinan banner, said the Vice President can navigate the complicated waters of foreign policy and come up with the most ideal position for the country.
“Kayang-kaya po ni VP Leni (She can do it),” he said. “Nakita po natin siya kung paano siya mag-aral ng isang sitwasyon, at kung paano siya mag-desisyon (We have seen how she studies a situation, and how she makes a decision),” he said.
Trillanes said Robredo listens to various advisers with different points of view and seeks courses of action, studying their pros and cons, he added.
He said the Vice President, who is seeking the presidency in the upcoming polls, is not afraid to make informed decisions.
Robredo has earlier condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it was important to stand against “unprovoked aggression.”
Trillanes said it was the right decision, adding that the Philippines should make a stand and not remain neutral in the conflict.
“Parati tayong kumakampi sa tama, doon sa naninindigan para sa demokrasya (We always stand with what is right, with those that promote democracy),” he said.
Early this month, members of Robredo’s national security team unveiled some of the proposed reforms she wants to implement to strengthen the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including a shift from a “land-centric” AFP into a maritime power, or “at least a modicum of a maritime nation.”
The Robredo camp said this shift will provide a huge impact on how the country treats its territorial waters, which are now threatened by China’s expansionism.
In a separate media interview, Trillanes said Robredo is the kind of commander-in-chief that the country needs because of her “sense of control” over events and circumstances that gives her “the ability to focus on the right things in the right way.”
Big Sunday crowd
Meanwhile, pink-clad supporters of Robredo flocked to F. Ortigas Jr. Road (formerly Emerald Avenue) at the Ortigas Business District in Pasig City on Sunday for a campaign rally.
Vice presidential candidate Senator Francis Pangilinan was not around as he participated in the Commission on Elections’ debate at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.
The crowd at the rally dubbed "PasigLaban Para sa TRoPa" reportedly started to arrive as early as 9 a.m., according to some participants.
Crowd estimate was placed at 80,000 as of 4:30 p.m., as mentioned by program host Robi Domingo.
Makati grand rally not yet final
Meanwhile, the Makati Chapter of the Robredo People's Council (RPC) clarified that the grand rally in Makati to be called “Makatindig” for the Vice President is not final yet.
"We're aware that you're all excited for the grand rally in Makati. Details are not yet final and might be subject to change," RPC Makati said in a statement late Sunday night.
RPC Makati called on the Robredo supporters to "only share details posted in the official page of RPC Makati to avoid confusion."
Makati's longtime former mayor, former Vice President Jojo Binay, has been adopted into Robredo's "Tropang Angat" senatorial slate, but he has not been seen in any of her campaign rallies yet.
Ari takes notice
Speaking of PasigLaban, international singing sensation Ariana Grande has taken notice of the event.
The American pop star saw two videos of Robredo supporters singing her hit song "Break Free" and posted them in her Instagram stories also early Monday.
"I could not believe this was real. I love you more than words," Grande said in her caption to the videos.
The videos were supposedly taken early in the afternoon or before the 3 p.m. start to the event proper.
The already packed crowd danced and sang to the house music set, which also included BTS' chart-topper "Permission to Dance". (With a report from Ivan Saldajeno/PR)