ADDRESS TO THE NATION: This is not the time for fear.  It is a time for conviction.  It is a time for courage.

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(Address to the Nation by Leni Gerona-Robredo, Vice President of the Philippines, on 5 December 2016)

Ngayong umaga, sinumite namin sa Malacañang ang sulat ng aking pagbibitiw mula sa Gabinete. Nakasaad sa aking sulat na “I have exerted all efforts to put aside our differences, maintain a professional working relationship, and work effectively despite the constraints because the Filipino people deserve no less.”

Tulad ng naipahayag kahapon, kung ako ay hinaharangang dumalo at makibahagi sa mga Cabinet meetings, imposible nang magawa ko ang aking tungkulin / bilang Housing Secretary.

My highest loyalty is to the Constitution and to you, the Filipino people—a vow that both the President and I took when we assumed our offices. This means, I must be free to speak my mind to protect you, your dreams, and your future. Ang kapakanan ng ating mga anak ay matitiyak lamang ng isang gobyernong nakikinig – na bukas kahit pa sa mga salungat na pananaw.

Kaya’t lagi nating ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng taumbayan na malayang maipahayag ang kanilang damdamin. Sasanggalan natin sila’t ipagtatanggol, upang laging manaig ang diwa ng ating batas. Ang tunay na hustisya’y walang kinikilala – mayaman man o mahirap, nasa poder man o walang impluwensiya.

Higit sa lahat, buong tapang tayong magmamatyag at magbabantay nang hindi na magbalik pa ang anumang diktadurya – na siyang kumitil sa libu-libong buhay noong rehimeng Marcos. We have fought this battle before—and won.  We will never let anyone revise our history and twist it to turn evil into good.

Hindi natin hahayaang nakawin ang Pagka-Bise Presidente, sapagkat iyon ay taliwas sa boses ng nakararami.  The Vice Presidency is not just about one person; it’s about you and your rights. What is at stake here is OUR collective future.

Since we released our statement yesterday, many have asked what’s next? I have sensed despair and anxiety and always that question: what will happen to us now?

This is not the time for fear.  It is a time for conviction.  It is a time for courage.

Along with many of you, I have expressed my strong opposition on issues like the Marcos burial. We still hope that the President will reconsider his position on these issues. We will continue to support policies and actions from this administration if we believe these are right and just and will benefit the last, the least, and the lost. If they don’t, we will not hesitate to dissent.

Ako’y narito para sa inyo. Ako’y mananatili para sa inyo. At patuloy nating bubunuin ang anumang trabaho, nang makapag-ambag sa adhikan ng ating gobyerno – na solusyunan ang kahirapan at maitaguyod ang pagkakapantay-pantay.

As your duly elected Vice President, I will continue to serve with all my strength and passion, confident that in the end, what is right will prevail.

Ang mga naganap nitong nakaraang araw ay lalong nagpatibay sa matagal ko nang panininindigan: gawin natin ang nararapat kahit gaano kahirap.

Salamat po!

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