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Robredo Sisters Face Hate in the Flesh, Why Do They Still Believe in Love?

After being reluctant at first, the Robredo sisters are in full force for Mama.
by Ara Eugenio
Apr 6, 2022
Photo/s: Composite photos from L-R Courtesy of: Ara Eugenio, VP Leni Media Tea,
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Aika Robredo soiled her white sneakers navigating a maze of damp alleys, hoping to convert those who have been saturated with hate on Facebook to see past the mudslinging and vote for her mama Leni for president.

For Robredo's highest and hardest electoral bid, her three daughters are willing to face hate that has long-filled social media in the flesh. They urge supporters to join them in house-to-house campaigns to see for themselves how outside the euphoria of their pink rallies, the real battle has yet to be won.

Last week, Tricia, the second daughter, went viral for the "humbling" encounter she had with a Marcos supporter, while Jillian, the youngest, also led a rally in her own capacity in New York City, where she's currently finishing her last semester in college. 

"Kami pong magkakapatid, nu'ng umpisa, ayaw naman po namin siyang tumakbo pa," Aika told a crowd in Quezon City on April 2 of how reluctant they were to have their only living parent offer herself to become the whole nation's "mother". 

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Since losing their papa, the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo, to a plane crash in 2012, the lives of the Robredo sisters have revolved around their mother, whose full attention they had growing up until she joined public office due to strong clamor from constituents. 

"Since I was 12, I’ve been looking forward to the day where my Ates and I have Mama all to ourselves again, but I guess that would have to wait," Jillian, often teased as the "favorite daughter,  had said upon her mother's filing of her candidacy for president. 

Unlike her elder sisters, Jillian spent her teens thrust in the public spotlight as their widowed mother went from congresswoman to vice president, whose vulnerability to trolling and "fake news" under the Duterte administration also extended to them. 

While the sisters say they've grown immune to negative attention, they also hoped that it would be over soon. "Gusto namin parati, 'ano ba yung sitwasyon na mas maalagaan namin siya o mas makakapagpahinga siya pagkatapos niyang maging vice president?'," Aika said. 

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In a previous interview with host Boy Abunda, Aika and Tricia opened up about their struggles when it comes to dealing with the pressures of being the children of influential parents. 

"Pero kami po naiintindihan namin na alam namin yung laban ngayong 2022 elections at kahit po kami gusto sana namin solohin na yung mama namin, naiintindihan po namin na mas malaki pa yung hamon na nahaharap sa ating bansa kung hindi man lang namin subukang lumaban," she added.

Despite the potential costs of being in the first family to their individual lives, they are again campaigning for their mother. They hope supporters would heed their call of campaigning where it has mattered most for them ever since -- not on social media, but on the ground. 

"Hinihingi ko po sana yung tulong ninyo na baka po pwede nating pagplanuhan kung pa'no maabot 'yung mga areas na baka hindi na po namin maabot ng mga kapatid ko, kasi marami na hong ibang lugar sa iba't ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas, na gusto rin namin siya marepresent," Aika said.

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With over 30 days left in the campaign, Aika acknowledged how big of a challenge they're up against.

"Alam ho namin ngayon kung gaano kataas yung numero ng kabila. Pero at the same time, hindi rin po kami kinakabahan. Kasi nung 2016, ganito pa rin kababa yung numero ng mama ko at naipanalo naman po natin ito," she said, urging supporters not to lose hope and to make the most of the remaining time. 

"Kaya ngayon po 2022, parehong hamon din pero gawin nating mas all out. Talagang ilabas na natin lahat," Aika says, noting how even their 7-year-old niece joined an on-ground campaign that morning somewhere in Pasay.

"Dahil kami pong lahat, naiintindihan namin kung ano ang nakataya sa halalang ito. Kaya sana po kung patuloy kayong naniniwala sa mama ko, kung patuloy ninyo siyang sinusuportahan, sana po okay lang sa inyo na ibuhos na nating lahat sa natitirang 30 days at ipanalo na natin siya," she added. 

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