Despite not being in office anymore, some Filipinos are still asking about the whereabouts of former vice president Leni Robredo amid and after the onslaught of Typhoon “Karding” (International name: Noru).
Social media posts recalling the former public official circulated last Sunday when the country’s eleventh tropical cyclone battered parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, with severe winds and intense rainfall.
“Nakalabas na ‘yung bagyo, wala pa rin si Leni on the ground, akala ko ba lagi siyang nauuna on the ground? ‘Yan ang lider ng mga Kakampanget, puro salita, puro tweet, puro coordinate, walang action, kaya ayaw sa kanya ng mga tao,” an internet personality tweeted on Monday, using a derogatory term for “Kakampinks.”
Kakampinks refer to the supporters of Robredo during her 2022 presidential campaign. It was a reference to her campaign color.
“Asan na si Leni Robredo??? Sana sinalubong niya ‘yung bagyo para tumigil na! Asan na ‘yung MGA Kakampwet na nagsasabi na ‘pag darating si Nanay Lugaw, may himala!” another Twitter user wrote.
“Humina na ang bagyong Karding pero si Leni, nasaan?” a different Pinoy asked.
Robredo has stepped down from public office since July after losing in the 2022 elections.
As a private citizen, the former vice president has since focused her efforts on her non-government organization Angat Buhay which she aims to be the “largest volunteer network” in the country.
Some Filipinos addressed the questions about Robredo’s whereabouts by emphasizing such fact.
“Malamang nasa bahay niya, nagpapahinga. Ano ba ini-expect mo sa isang private citizen?” a Facebook page quipped.
“Hindi ba nila gets ‘yung ordinaryong citizen na lang si Leni? In short, she’s no different from us now. Bakit mo siya hahanapin?” a Twitter user wrote.
“Itong mga ‘to, ang narrative at focus pa rin ay ‘Nasaan si Leni?’ Nasa kaniya ba ang tax na dapat ginagamit para tulungan ang mga apektado ng bagyo?” another online user asked.
Last night, Robredo shared a tweet of her Angat Buhay NGO which gave tips on how to prepare for tropical cyclones.
She also informed the public that the NGO is continuously monitoring areas on Karding’s path and that they are ready to help.
Nararamdaman na ang hagupit ng Super Typhoon #KardingPH sa Luzon. Maging alerto at kalmado po tayo, ihanda ang sarili at mga kagamitan na maaaring kailanganin, at mag-antabay sa mga updates at patakaran, lalo na kung kailangang lumikas ayon sa inyong LGU. https://t.co/R1ljkMt7FY
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) September 25, 2022
“Patuloy ang @angatbuhay_ph sa pagmo-monitor ng mga lugar na maaapektuhan, at handa tayong tumulong kung saan kailangan. Maraming salamat rin sa ating volunteers na naka-standby na para sa relief efforts. #KardingPH,” Robredo additionally said on September 25.
As of writing, there are no more updates about the NGO but some claimed that they saw a truck bearing its name in transit.
“Spotted on my way home from work today. Busy preparing nga. Thank you and stay safe!!!” a Facebook user reported on Sunday afternoon.
The truck, based on the picture, was labeled “Emergency Relief Transport Unit.”
Robredo, prior to stepping down from public office, utilized social media to help those who have been affected by calamities and disasters.
Among the channels Robredo and the previous Office of the Vice President uses is Twitter, where people can quickly share text-based posts and give updates without seeing too much clutter in their feed.
The former vice president continues to use the microblogging platform for such initiatives, based on her Sunday post about Karding.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it has “forward deployed” humanitarian assistance and disaster response teams to Northern, Central and Southern Luzon before Karding’s landfall.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has also directed the energy department to deploy generators with fuel to areas with limited power as an effect of the typhoon’s impact.
He additionally reminded concerned agencies to take caution in releasing dam waters to prevent widespread flooding in the already-affected areas.
Marcos also called off classes and select government work on Monday following agencies’ recommendations as preventive measures against untoward incidents.
Karding—which initially arrived as a super typhoon—battered Luzon, particularly its central region and Calabarzon, with fierce winds and torrential rain that left thousands displaced and some, dead.