• Speak up, Robredo urges women

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    Women in power should speak out against the rampant drug-related killings that had claimed at least 7,000 lives, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said Monday.

    “Lady legislators, you have been called for such a time as this…to flex your unique kind of power; to champion our people’s rights and basic freedoms during these extraordinary times with democracy and our very way of life is under attack; to lead and build a society that’s stronger and more resilient focused on the values of integrity, empathy, kindness, patience, excellence, transparency, accountability and good governance,” Robredo said during the National General Assembly of Lady Local Legislators’ League of the Philippines held in Manila.

    “People’s liberties are at risk and the easier option is to disengage and fall into a resigned sigh. As women, we can’t opt to keep quiet and sit down on the sidelines. We must take the lead in empowering communities. But to truly empower the poor, we have to uphold their rights and liberties. They must not be dehumanized,” Robredo added.

    She took up the cudgels for the poor, saying they “are not easy to get rid of through summary killings.”

    “Their lives are a grim reflection of how society has failed them. They deserve better from the government. They deserve better from all of us,” the vice president said.

    “Being women and bearers of life itself, you would know firsthand the value of human life. Your duty is to develop legislation that honors and protects the well being of every Filipino, so that the disempowered are finally empowered,” Robredo added.

    “Public office is a public trust, as they say. To do justice to that trust, we must do our work with our principles intact. Without integrity, an elected official can be seduced by power or wealth, and later fall prey to corruption. Without integrity, we can lose sight of our purpose: that of upholding the welfare of our constituents,” she said.

    Llanesca T. Panti

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