In an ideal world, women should be judged for their character and intelligence. Unfortunately for Vice President Leni Robredo, she was called out not for her ideas but for her appearanceÂ in a public address.
Robredo said today that she was dismayed that people appeared to have more to say about the purple top she wore on her Monday speech than the ideas she presented. She became a hot topic for speaking out against the government’s faltering COVID-19 response, one that earned her blistering criticisms from President Rodrigo Duterte and his multitude of online supporters.
The vice president called out Duterte’s fans but also used the opportunity to encourage the public to buy local products.
“There were people who criticized my appearance during the public address on Monday. It’s saddening that it’s what they noticed and not the content of what I said [but] I’m going to speak up because it’s an opportunity to advocate for #supportlocal,” she said.
“The blouse I’m wearing there was made by BAYO, a really good Filipino brand (the brooch is included in the blouse),” Robredo added.
The vice president said that she admired the owners of Bayo, who happened to be good employers to their seamstresses. She also lauded them for creating the protective gear that her team donates to medical workers in the country.
Women do not need to explain why they need to look a certain way, but Robredo also did.
“My hair was pulled back..and since the start of the pandemic, I wore my hair that way. It’s too long. Besides, it’s easier to wear face masks when you have your hair pulled back. My eyeglasses? I’ve been wearing them for a long time. I don’t remove them now because they protect me from the virus,” she said.
The vice president said that she found her statement amusing but “it’s an opportunity for us to support local.”
Duterte fans often attack Robredo, widely perceived as the leading figure of the opposition Liberal Party. While she has yet to formally announce her candidacy, the public expects her to run for president in 2022.
This article, #SupportLocal: Robredo claps back at critics for lambasting her appearance, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!