Vice President Leni Robredo (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Jan 13 (Mabuhay) — Twenty-three officials who served during the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos have expressed support for the 2022 presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo.

The 23 officials include former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Cielito Habito, former Foreign Affairs secretary Roberto Romulo, former Justice secretary and current Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, former Finance undersecretary Milwida Guevarra, and former Health secretary Carmencita Reodica.

“The country needs to elect a leader who will lead to a unified, humane, just, progressive, economically vibrant, sustainable and equitable society that is the dream of every Filipino. We believe that Vice-President Leni Robredo is the only presidential candidate who possesses the above-described qualities, and who can credibly lead us Filipinos closer towards that dream,” the former officials said in a statement.

“We therefore enjoin our fellow Filipinos to support her candidacy, as we ourselves pledge our wholehearted commitment to do our share to help her become the next President of the Republic of the Philippines.”

The former officials also expressed grave concern over several issues leading to the elections, among them:

proliferation of misinformation;

dubious promises and outright falsehoods;

deliberate thought manipulation especially via social media through the use of large numbers of fictitious accounts and mercenary troll armies;

misuse of certain polls and surveys that may  not  necessarily  reflect  and represent true voter preferences;

and continued patronage and money politics that have traditionally perpetuated undesirable dynasties and diverted people’s choices away from electing principled leaders

“The country sorely needs a leader who will inspire unity, solidarity and teamwork in government and among all Filipinos; empower our people, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized in society; and bring out the best of servant leadership in government officials and public servants by being the foremost example of integrity, dedication, professionalism, level-headedness, statesmanship, pursuit of excellence, hard work, and true caring and sharing for our fellow Filipinos,” they said.

“These are the leadership qualities that we directly witnessed President Ramos espouse and exemplify , and which we seek in the next President of our country,” they added.

Robredo ‘humbled’ by endorsement

Robredo, in response, said she was honored with the former Ramos officials’ endorsement.

“[I am] humbled by the support of Cabinet members and senior officials of the Ramos administration. I look up to the leadership that FVR (Fidel Valdez Ramos) espoused, which I believe was affirmed by the brilliant people who served alongside him — matitino at mahuhusay (honorable and competent),” Robredo said in a statement.

“Marami po ang nagsasabi na FVR had one of the best pools of Cabinet secretaries in recent years. Honored by the faith you have placed upon me, Sirs and Ma’ams. Makakaasa po kayo na lagi kong sisikapin to be worthy of the trust that you and our fellow Filipinos have given me,” she added. (MNS)

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