Leni Robredo proved in Sunday’s #HarapanBise debate that she cannot MAN UP for the job


Watching Leni Robredo in last night’s vice presidential debate deliver her closing statements voice quivering and on the verge of tears, I thought: Ok, if Chinese troops started parachuting onto Manila while Leni Robredo was VP, what’s she gonna do? Cry and talk about her mommy issues?

But that is exactly what she’s framed her entire pitch to Filipino voters on — how she set aside her mommy duties and “sacrificed” the wellbeing of her family to “serve” as Vice President. Those trite expressions of “sacrifice” mixed with crocodile tears, dramatic pauses, and sob stories about family ties have become standard fare in Philippine politics since the Queen of “Sacrifice” ascended the presidency in 1986 thirty years ago. Filipino leaders are no longer voted into office on the back of their strength. They are chosen because of their weakness.

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It is ironic that Robredo’s supporters now play the feminist card. The slogan “May the best woman win” now characterises her campaign. Robredo is, of course, the only woman in the VP race. Her supporters have foolishly made this her key selling point. Unfortunately, these armchair feminists have lost sight of the reality of what it means to be a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. For a woman to make it in a man’s world, they have to slug it out like men.

Robredo stood out amongst the VP candidates because, well, she was a woman acting like a woman. She was a stark contrast to the steely politics-hardened men she presumed to be “debating” with last night in that circus hosted by ABS-CBN dubbed with the hashtag #HarapanBise (literally “vice face-off”). On national TV and on Twitter where the hashtag “trended worldwide”, Robredo attempted to push the same old buttons that worked wonders on the electorate back in 1986, and again in 2010 — a sorry spectacle that stood in stark contrast to her more manly rivals for the VP seat who kept things to the point, short and sweet, and relevant to the real challenges the Philippine state faces over the next six years.

There is, we need to remind Robredo, an army that needs to be motivated to fight two fronts — the chinks digging themselves into the nation’s West Philippine Sea territories and Islamic and communist terrorists carving out turf in the hinterlands. Robredo needs to be reminded that there are deals to be made with Northeast Asian taipans who, again as reality makes a bitch about, would rather clink whisky glasses with penis-equipped business partners in black suits. And if her running mate Mar Roxas is to be made an example of, she also needs to be able to ride a motorbike into the eye of a storm to usher hapless soon-to-be calamity victims into the basement to hunker down for the night.

I’m not saying that women cannot do all of those things. The thing is, dyed-in-the-wool feminists themselves talk incessantly about a need for girls to grow balls bigger than mens’ to make good on their efforts to champion The Movement. Funny, isn’t it? Women’s rights “activists” themselves point out that women need to be anatomically like men to win against them. Robredo, took the other path in last night’s “debate”, however. She made her being a mother her main argument as to why she ought to be the vice president of the Philippines.

Who then is the real sexist here?

Suffice to say, her rivals will never be mothers. You need a uterus for that job. What Robredo’s rivals do have are balls — real flesh-and-blood balls and not the “steel” ones that form part of those quaint metaphors traditional feminists have reduced to a laughable cliché.

In the bigger scheme of things, the whole problem with the Philippines is that it has, for the last 30 years, failed to man up. It is no longer man enough to face the Chinese. It is not man enough to take responsibility for the idiots it elected to lead it. It is not man enough to compete in the global business world on its own terms.

The last thing the Philippines needs are leaders who, themselves, cannot man-up.

What does it take to man up? You need to think like a man to understand what that concept really means.

22 Replies to “Leni Robredo proved in Sunday’s #HarapanBise debate that she cannot MAN UP for the job”

  1. modern feminists are despicable. They do not want equality – they want privilege. These feminists claim to be independent and strong women, and they want to be treated equally. I am for equality, not those feminists. I treat all human beings equal. If I am on a sinking ship, I will rescue the chidren, elderly, and the disabled persond first, and every personfor themselves. Now, that is equality.

    1. A lot of Pinays are “feminists” when it’s convenient. But these are the same self-entitled twats who raise their eyebrows when you don’t stand up to offer them your seat. Gender equality my foot.

  2. Wala ba tayong ala-Hillary Clinton? Bakit puros widow na lang ang pang-Prez o VP? Nakatulong ba mga kandidatong tumakbo sa platapormang paawa effect? Paawa sa election; pag-naka-upo, wala naman awa.

    #necropolitics, kya necro din ang bansa, halos necro na ang mga mahihirap. Pwede ba wala ng necro-han sa Mayo.

    1. There seems to be an unwritten rule in Filipino society about how making it on your own merit is evil. You must make it to the top because of help, whether it be from dead relatives or live people.

      1. Frustrating! There are people like Gibo, Gordon, Raffy Alunan, etc, and they can’t win in a Prez or VP election, and they are the most qualified. Yet, in the race today are yes, Leni ..then Trillanes, Manny Pacquiao, Alma Moreno, etc. ..Nak ng kamoteng buhay Pinoy talaga, ay naku, ..aaaaarghh, I don’t know.

  3. She is a complete opposite of Miriam. While MDS embodies an independent minded woman, A cancer-fighting-survivor (no I do not think she is cancer-free) who is willing to go head-to-head in a man’s world, she uses the “mother” card.
    What a disappointment.

  4. Trying to garner sympathy and trying to show her compassionate side.
    What a joke. Yeah right, compassion for the poor and misfortunate.
    Imagine our world today, what do you see? People trying to get ahead of each other. Envy, pride, shitheads everywhere. We need a leader who leads not mostly feel sorry for the so called misfortunate because they’re hopeless. Someone who inspires not just give give and give our taxes to these poor fellow.
    We ever start thinking that the poor can never ever stop getting more and more because they’re fuckheads by that they keep reproducing hence becoming poorer. And the government thinks they can help them with dole outs? Fuck???????? The poor should do their part, the government should ONLY GIVE THEM SOME PART TO DO.
    We should stop helping them too much and focus on making laws and projects helping the middle class. The class most burdened with taxes, who faces the most shit in this country and who never really benefits. Taxes should never be so high, for whatever reason. That way we would prevent more poor and misfortunates from ever becoming such.

    THE POINT IS, someone who is proud of helping the poor using our money.
    Help that won’t last. Should never brag about it. You are slapping our faces with the taxes we payed. What is this, money redistribution? Take from the almost poor and give it to the poor? Fuck this system.

  5. The motherland doesn’t need another mother figure. Look at how it went the last time she had one.

    The motherland needs her sons and daughters to act their age and wise up to choose their best and brightest brothers and sisters who can take on the challenge of caring for her as she has been ailing for a long time now.

    The motherland needs her best and brightest sons and daughters to get rid of all the motherfuckers who have been continuously sucking her tits dry.

    The motherland’s children need to be responsible men and women.

    The motherland’s children need to Grow Up and GET REAL!!!

  6. Leni Robredo is simply not fit for the job as Vice President. She is weak; a follower of Mar Roxas and Aquino. Always a “yes, woman”.

    In the real world; we need a real , strong man/woman to lead us. A leader, who can lead infront, not from behind.

    Leni Robredo has no experience in Management; foreign policy and in the military. She is more like Cory Aquino, the fumbling and clueless housewife/widow.

    Please choose a better choice for a Vice President. Because, the position is a heart beat away from the Presidency…

  7. BBM is the way. He’s the only one with the best credentials and track record based on his tenure as a senator.

    As Bobi Tiglao excellently put it:

    If only for his courage and intelligence in voting against Corona’s conviction, Marcos has got my vote, and I don’t care if he were the Devil’s son.

    It is not what a political leader says or claims to be that he must be judged. It is what he does in the crucial periods of a nation’s history, or in times of crisis, which tries “a man’s soul,” when his moral fiber and intelligence are tested. Bongbong passed it with flying colors. The senators, who are now his rivals in the vice–presidential race utterly failed the test, with Cayetano and Trillanes even at the front of Aquino’s lynch mob.

    That’s another reason why The Philippines is an utter dump. People use emotion over objective evaluation of job applicants based on their competence, experience and demeanor under pressure. So they fall for feelgood motherhood sentiments of some “humble” unknown thinking that type of mystique will deliver them from the wretched bowels of their existence. Until Pinoys stop being moronic emotards they’d keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

  8. As of this day, there are more female teachers and social workers. What do they do? They serve the children, the poor, the sick, the abused, and the abandoned among others despite low compensation (to think they too have their own families to provide for). To be a mother need not uterus and ovaries. Women having children is not the essence of being a woman. However, women regardless of maternity status have contributed significantly the same if not more than men. To say that appearing feminine and motherly in a line of macho contenders is a failure to man up is an old sexist remark and I’m not a radical feminist. Leni Robredo is not perfect, she may not have the best plans for national defense but she did fought for a lot of things that makes her human. She fought for poverty, land ownership, women abuse,people empowerment, and a simple life amidst access to public funds. Isn’t that man enough more so isn’t that human enough?

  9. Mothering your “country” is not sexy for you or for people. If you want your “country” to “start being a man”, start being their lover not their mother.

    1. How come all those who are commenting here seem unaware of the achievements and programs of Leni Robredo while she was still in public service? She’s the real agriculture warrior defending farmers, fishermen, and indigenous people. She prevents women abuse by spearheading social enterprising that could financially empower them apart from defending them from offenders. She started a feeding program for public school children wherein meals will be provided by the farmers in the locality(supporting local farmers). As you can see most are sustainable reforms. These are only some of her achievements because there are too many to mention. In fact, if you would look at the CNN’s infographic report on the VP candidates and their legislative work during the 16th congress, she (congresswoman for 3 years) was the second most productive among the six passing more bills into law next to Trillanes (who was senator for 6 years) overtaking the four others who have been in congress for god knows how long. She also filed anti-corruption bills like removing discretion of PDAF and the supply driven transparency of gov’t spending/transactions (even google can provide you such information). And why does being soft and motherly becomes the opposite of being manly and competent? When an individual need all of these traits altogether for servant leadership which she truly embodies.

  10. That is one of the most idiotic articles I’ve read during this campaign season. Not only does the author show little understanding of the feminist movement, he fails miserably as a representative of his sex and gender. Who wrote this, Duterte’s speechwriter? Laughable.

      1. Feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights based on political, social, and economic equality to men.

        “Equal” does not mean “the same”. Dyed-in-the-wool feminists don’t talk about “growing balls”. In fact, that kind of characterization borders on the misogyny that feminists are wont to speak out against. And how many more times do we have hear a “man” equate the expression of emotion, whether by men or women, as weakness? And really, “chink”? So on top of sounding like a macho wanna-be, easily riled by a female candidate’s too-obvious (yet amusing) closing statement, the author stoops to a racist pejorative. This article bears no logic, no real argument, and adds no value to political discourse. It’s merely preaching to the choir. And the only ones agreeing are the choirboys.

  11. I like your article sir. But i would respectfully like to point out one word that offended me, your use of the word “chink” referring to chinese. It is the same as using the word “nigger” to refer to bkacks. I know you may not mean to offend but as a respected journalist i know you will respect us filipino chinese as well to not use this word in your future articles. More power to you benigno.

    1. Thanks. There was really no intent to offend as it was just meant to be a literary device used to refer to the People’s Republic of China and not to ethnic Chinese.

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