Published: Fri, May 17, 2013
First published: 11:18 a.m., May 16, 2013 | Updated 9:38 p.m., May 16, 2013 | Updated 7:30 a.m., May 17, 2013
By Miguel Ortilla
Naga City, Camarines Sur - Leni Robredo has been proclaimed representative of the third district of Camarines Sur to the House, scoring a landslide victory over Nelly Villafuerte, wife of incumbent Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr.
Supporters at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, many of them wearing yellow shirts, cheered as Robredo was proclaimed.
"Talaga yung hard work always pays off [It's really ture that hard work always pays off]," Robredo said.
The landslide victory was already apparent on election night. But the proclamation was delayed due to the failure of transmission of votes from some areas.
Robredo got 102, 694 votes, while Villafuerte got 31,364.
Eventually, the Provincial Board of Canvassers still proclaimed Robredo as winner, because the remaining uncanvassed votes were considered immaterial given her overwhelming lead.
After a good night's sleep, Robredo visited the tomb of her late husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
"Tinitingnan nila ako na ako ang magpapatuloy ng legacy ng asawa ko [They're looking up to me as the one who will continue the legacy of my husband]," she said. "Kaya madali silang magtiwala. Madali kong sabihin na magiging matino ako. Madali kong sabihin na magagawa ako ito – kasi nagawa ng asawa ko [They find it easy to trust me. I can easily say that I will be good. I can easily say that I can do this – because my husband did it.]"
She admitted that the call to end political dynasties convinced her to pursue her congressional bid.
Once at the House, Robredo vowed to prioritize the anti-dynasty measure and to push for measures on good governance reforms initiated by her late husband.
She is also in favor of passing the Freedom of Information Bill and abolishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or more commonly, the pork barrel.
"Hindi trabaho ng kongresista na magpagawa ng proyekto. Trabaho niya magpasa ng mga batas [It's not the job of House members to implement projects. Their job is to pass laws]," she said.
When she assumes office, she would of course have her own pork barrel. But she vowed not to use it in the traditional way but rather make it as a performance-incentive fund. Local government units in her district, she said, would have to show that they deserve a share of teh fund.
The camp of Nelly Villafuerte and Luis Villafuerte – veteran politicians in the province who both lost – have not granted any interviews since after the elections.
Meanwhile, newly reelected Rep. Rolando Andaya said the outcome of the elections in Camarines Sur only proved that established names can now be challenged.
"Iba na ngayon. Iba na ang dynamics ng pulitika ngayon [It's different now. The dynamics of politics are different]," Andaya said. "It has evolved into something else which would explain the quite unique and interesting result, which we'll see in the coming elections. "
In the fourth district, actor Aga Muhlac was slightly ahead, giving a good fight to Wimpy Fuentebella, who comes from a clan that has been ruling in the Bicol region since 1907.
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