VP spox responds to ‘extraordinary housewife’ description of Robredo

October 27, 2021 - 6:41 PM
Philippines Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo speaks during a meeting with a drug war task force after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed her as its co-head, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 8, 2019. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo)

The spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo responded to comments made by a senator who was asked to describe some presidential hopefuls in the 2022 national elections.

Sen. Imee Marcos on Wednesday said that Robredo is an “extraordinary housewife” who other candidates should “never underestimate.”

“Sa totoo lang, lahat ‘yan ay matitindi. May kaniya-kaniyang galing ‘yan kaya wala kaming minamani diyan,” she said on DZMM Teleradyo’s “On the Spot” segment, where she was asked to described her brother’s presidential rivals in two words.

The lawmaker is the sister of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Lahat sila mabibigat, lahat may baluarte, lahat may narrative na ika nga, na napakahirap buwagin,” Marcos said.

She described Sen. Manny Pacquiao as an “idol of the country” and has a “heart of a champion.”

Sen. Ping Lacson, according to the fellow lawmaker, is an “eagle-eyed investigator” while Sen. Bato dela Rosa is a “model policeman” and her “BFF” (best friend forever) in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso was described as “inspiring” and has the “best rags-to-riches story.”

Marcos’ comment to Robredo as a “housewife” didn’t go unnoticed by the vice president’s spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez.

“VP Leni is also an ‘extraordinary lawyer,’ a ‘productive legislator,’ an ‘actual degree holder’ (several times over in fact), and, of course, the ‘duly elected Vice President,'” he tweeted in response to reports of the senator’s comments.

“Just spreading some truth and love this #kakampinkwednesday,” Gutierrez added, referencing the weekly activity where Robredo’s supporters would don anything pink—one of her campaign colors—to show support.

The spokesman’s tweet has earned more than 4,000 likes and more than 1,000 retweets as of this writing.

Volunteer group “Dapat Si Leni” likewise commented on Imee’s remarks and said it as “an insult laced with praise.”

“It is an attack not to our Presidentiable, but to every woman—mother, daughter, and sister—who bears the heaviest responsibility to take care of the family,” the group said in a statement.

“To be a housewife in itself is extraordinary. Ito ang paghihirap at pagtatrabaho na walang katumbas na salapi, dahil nakaugat ito sa malalim na pagmamahal sa pamilya. To imply that a housewife needs to be extraordinary in order to be considered as a serious contender in positions of leadership is a step backwards achieving genuine women empowerment in the county,” it added.

“VP Leni’s strength does not come from being extraordinary, but from being a person of honesty, authenticity, and integrity. She is the story of many housewives whose strength have been underestimated, by men and women alike,” the group said.

Robredo, prior to becoming the second highest official in the country, served as a representative of Camarines Sur’s third district for four years.

Prior to that, she was the coordinator of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligan, a Naga-based alternative legal support group.

She also founded the Lakas ng Kababaihan ng Naga Federation which provides training and livelihood opportunities to women.

Robredo likewise served in the Public Attorney’s Office.