Did VP Leni concede?

By Herbert Vego

CONTRARY views on the “defeat” of Vice President Leni Robredo to Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos Jr. in the presidential race have emerged from her “Tayo ang Liwanag” thanksgiving speech at the Ateneo de Manila University compound Friday evening. One view is that she conceded, albeit subtly; the other, not at all.

Analyze this portion of her speech: “Kailangan nating simulang tanggapin na hindi ayon sa mga pangarap natin ang resulta ng eleksyong ito. Kailangan nating tanggapin ang pasya ng mayorya.” she said.

Clearly, she hinted that while the election “verdict” as conveyed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was not in accord with her group’s wishes, they would have to abide by the majority decision. It was not an acceptance of the doubtful, non-final result.

That was why she also declared (as translated in English), “Right now, the machinery of lying must be reigning.  But it’s up to us to determine its prevalence. It’s up to us to decide whether the fight has ended or has just begun.”

Thousands of tearful people in the audience and millions more watching online elsewhere must have wondered whether she was conceding. Why should she when she could not make sense of the partial returns showing 31 million votes for Marcos and only 14 million for her?

How could BBM have done that “miracle”? Remember, she had beaten him in the 2016 vice-presidential race, scoring 14,023,093 against Marcos’ 13,803,966. He protested before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) but the ensuing ballot recounts resulted in increasing her lead.

Where have all those hundreds of thousands of “kakampinks” yelling in each Robredo-Pangilinan rally gone?

Marcos’ running mate and presidential daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, was reported to have also gone past the 31-million mark against Kiko Pangilinan’s nine million.

VP Leni has been robbed of her original votes plus millions more. Her lawyers and IT experts are now at work discovering how the fraud had crept into the automated system.

Thus, she vowed to expose the election inaccuracy with these words: “Itutuon ko ang enerhiya ko sa paglaban sa kasinungalingan at hinihiling ko na samahan n’yo ako dito. Kailangan natin maging isang kilusan na magtatanggol ng katotohanan.”

No doubt she had erred in giving the Comelec the benefit of the doubt despite her knowledge that all of its incumbent chairman and six commissioners (including Marcos’ lawyer George Garcia) are beholden appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte.

She had also erred in ignoring the mind-conditioning “mission” of Pulse Asia and other pollsters to behold Marcos as the “frontrunner”. Ah basta, no explanation as to why their unknown respondents wanted him.

The thousands of paid trolls multiplying themselves by the millions in the social media had also done well in re-inventing the dictator’s son who would give away gold and reduce the price of rice to twenty pesos per kilo.

She had ignored the warning that F2 Logistics’ Smartmatic vote-counting machines could be pre-programmed, since Dennis Uy – a Duterte crony – chairs F2 Logistics.

However, putting the past aside, VP Leni capped her speech with a vow to transform her Angat Buhay platform into a non-government organization aimed at helping the less fortunate get by with funds from private sources.

Finally, lest I be misjudged as a Leni Robredo propagandist, I earn not a single centavo from her. She does not even know me. But as a journalist for 52 years — since 1970 when the elder Ferdinand Marcos was President — I still call a spade a spade.



TO show his appreciation for work well done, MORE Electric and Power Corporation  President Sir Roel Z Castro  recently threw a thanksgiving party for around 167 employees and third-party contractors who comprised the “Task Force Election 2022” on round-the-clock rotation.

“We succeeded in rendering flawless power distribution in Iloilo City during the election period! No flicker, no outage at all! Reaching out to the election officers in schools and canvassing centers spelled the difference,” Castro said.

He commended Engr. Bernard “Bailey” Del Castro, the company’s deputy head of network operations, for leading the task force in its task of preventing power interruption or any electricity-related incident.



THE triumvirate of Mayor Jerry Trenas, Vice Mayor Jeffry Ganzon and Congresswoman Julienne “Jam-jam” Baronda have proven themselves resistant to change, having been re-elected.

But of course, we city residents yearn for more changes leading to economic productivity that should compensate for losses incurred during the two-year pandemic.

Five re-electionist councilors also made it.  They are Alan Zaldivar, Frances Grace Parcon, Rudolph Ganzon, Romel Duron and Ely Estante.  The other winners are Sedfrey Cabaluna, Miguel Treñas, Nick Baronda, Rex Sarabia, Candice Lex Tupas, Johnny Young,  Jr. and Plardiel Nava.