MANILA, Philippines — Calls asking where Vice President Leni Robredo was throughout the onslaught of Tropical Depression Vicky only serve to acknowledge her position as the second-in-command, she pointed out on her radio show Sunday morning.
Robredo was referring to the viral hashtag #NasaanAngBisePresidente on social media, which administration supporters hurled at the vice president in reference to the viral #NasaanAngPangulo used against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"That means I was the vice president they were looking for…[so] number one, they now acknowledge me as the vice president because didn't they used to call me Fake VP? So where is the vice president?" Robredo said in mixed Filipino and English.
"So I'm really the vice president that they're looking for. And that is pleasing," she also said.
Andito po ako. Kanina pa kami nag cocoordinate sa areas na apektado. Pagdasal po natin mga kababayan natin sa Agusan del Sur at Surigao del Sur na binabaha ngayon.
On social media, pro-administration troll accounts — many of whom routinely spread fake news and misinformation — still challenge Robredo's ownership of the position four years into her term, often calling her the "fake VP" and supporting losing vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr.'s bid to nullify the election results in three provinces.
The same social media users made sure the hashtag resounded online, though it turned out Robredo had been coordinating with affected areas and extending aid the entire time.
In the aftermath of the torrential rains and massive flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses, Duterte claimed his radio silence as Filipinos died was due to the fact that he was a "night person."
Robredo added in her show that she had received threats against her life if she showed up to extend aid in Mindanao, the home region of Duterte, saying she won't go home alive if she goes there amid the calamity.
"It's sad that there are people like this during times of calamity," Robredo said.
— Franco Luna
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