Village chief happiest in VP’s oath-taking

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Barangay (village) captain Ronaldo Coner of Punta Tarawal, Calabangga, Camarines Sur, may have experienced the happiest day of his life when he administered the oath of office of a fellow Bicolano, Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday.

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Coner did not buckle in reading the Vice President’s oath of office that he delivered while Robredo was facing him, with the Vice President placing her hand over a Bible held by her youngest daughter, Jillian.

“Ito na ang pinakamasayang araw ko sa buhay ko. Lahat ng kasama kong Bikolano, talagang proud kami [This is the happiest day of my life. Me and my fellow Bicolanos are very proud of her],” Coner, who speaks limited Filipino and is more fluent in the Bicolano dialect, told reporters.

Coner, also 51 like  Robredo,  cannot t help but be star-struck.

“Wala po akong kaba talaga. Puro saya. Natuwa talaga ako nang makita ko ang mukha ni Maam Leni. Proud talaga ako. Ang ganda ng mukha niya [I was not nervous. It was all joy. I was happy when I saw her face. I was proud of her. Her face was beautiful],” Coner, who wore a brand-new barong, pants and leather shoes courtesy of Robredo’s office, said.

Coner then wished that Robredo would not let the people down by serving them just as much as she did in his village when she was a Camarines Sur lawmaker.

“Siguro po ang dapat gawin niya ‘yung pinangako niya. Nasimulan na niya. Siguro pagkakataon na rin na magabayan siya ni Lord na magawa ang trabaho niya sa mahihirap sa buong Pilipinas [She should fulfill her promises. She already started in our place. I pray that she will be guided by the Lord in fulfilling her tasks to the poor in the rest of the country],” he said, referring to Robredo’s previous three-year stint as the Representative of the Third District of Camarines Sur.

Robredo’s party mates from the Liberal Party also see brighter days ahead for Robredo even if she is not named as a member of the Cabinet by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“She delivered a good message of unity. We can only move forward if we are united. That is the kind of spirit we want for the next six years,” outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

“The elections are over so we should put politics behind us and confront the problems that beset our country,” outgoing Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said.

LLANESCA T. PANTI

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