Reelected Senator Risa Hontiveros is now the new leader of the opposition, according to outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.
Hontiveros yesterday took her oath of office for her second term in the Senate before Robredo at the VP’s Reception House in New Manila, Quezon City.
The senator was the only opposition candidate to win a national position in the elections last May 9.
“You are now our leader,” Robredo told Hontiveros.
“When I learned about the result of the election, I texted Senator Risa. I told Senator Risa, ‘You are our leader.’ So please know that we are just at your back. We are behind (ready) to help you when you need us,” she said.
Hontiveros was accompanied by her three daughters to her oath taking.
“I repeat, Senator Risa, you are now the highest elected official from the opposition, and that we are all happy for you to raise our flag,” Robredo said.
The senator vowed to continue her advocacies at the Senate, to help bolster economic growth and to restore healthcare services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hontiveros ran for reelection under the Akbayan party.
“We will help spur economic growth and restore healthcare services disrupted by the pandemic. As promised, we will facilitate an increase of budgets for agencies integral to our recovery initiatives. Our advocacy continues for healthy life and livelihood,” she said.
The two-term senator also said would resist false information and fight for constitutionally guaranteed freedoms such as freedoms of expression, assembly, and the press.
“We will fight back harder, against rumors, lies, propaganda, and fake news. Let me make this even clearer. This is a stern warning to all the dubious characters in the fake news universe. This time, we will not let your reckless disregard for truth slander our democracy—our country—ever again,” said Hontiveros.
Before Hontiveros was sworn in, Robredo also administered the oath of office of re-elected Iloilo Board Member Jason Gonzales, who has been a supporter of the initiatives of the Office of the Vice President.
Robredo, who steps down on June 30, is set to lead a non-government organization, the Angat Buhay Foundation.