Outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday passed on the leadership of the political opposition to Sen. Risa Hontiveros and pledged her full support.
Hontiveros, who placed 11th in the 2022 senatorial race, took her oath before Robredo in one of the vice president's final acts before stepping down on June 30.
After seeing the election results, Robredo said she texted Hontiveros to assure she would rally behind the reelectionist senator.
"Sabi ko kay Sen. Risa, ikaw na ang leader namin kaya please know na nasa likod mo lang kami, tutulong kung kailan mo kami kailangan," she told reporters.
Except for Hontiveros, the entire opposition slate failed to secure national posts, including Robredo who placed second to President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
"You are now the highest elected official sa oposisyon at lahat kami masaya na ikaw 'yung natitirang humahawak ng ating bandila. Kampante kami na patuloy mong ipapakipaglaban ang lahat ng pinaniniwalaan natin, kung ano 'yung mabuti at tama sa pamamahala. Nandito lang kami lagi magsusuporta sa'yo," Robredo told the two-term senator.
"Kami ang mga sundalo mo na ngayon Sen. Risa kaya asahan mo kung kung paano mo sinuportahan ang buong sambayanang Pilipino, ganun din 'yung suportahang aasahan mo sa amin."
Robredo said she was honored to administer the oathtaking of Hontiveros, who initiated efforts to create a united opposition ahead of the 2022 elections.
"Bago pa ako gumalaw, si Sen. Risa gumagalaw na para magkaron ng united opposition. Pareho kaming hindi nagwagi pero masaya ako na kahit papaano nand'yan ka pa, standing strong, alam ko na 'di mo kami pababayaan."
Hontiveros said she would continue to work with Robredo and other opposition leaders and movements to address the inequality on the ground.