Robredo calls for compassionate, inclusive leadership

Vice President Leni Robredo has called for compassionate leadership as she lauded this year’s recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, a recognition considered as Asia’s version of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Robredo, in her keynote address delivered Tuesday night, said leaders should draw inspiration from the lives and works of the five laureates, namely:

fisherman and community environmentalist Robert “Ka Dodoy” Ballon from the Philippines; humanitarian and peacebuilder Steven Muncy (Southeast Asia); affordable medicine champion Firdausi Qadri of Bangladesh; poverty alleviation visionary Muhammad Amjad Saqib of Pakistan media truth crusader Watchdoc of Indonesia

“As the pandemic exposed the entrenched injustices in societies, governments must build a system that is in itself compassionate,” said Robredo who husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, was a Ramon Magsaysay awardee in 2000.

“For too long, service has been treated as taglines at worst, and as acts of charity at best. When people are in dire need, it is supposed to be the structures of society that address these needs — and not some benevolent leader handing down projects and programs as a lord of the manor does to his servants,” she added.

Inclusiveness, Robredo said, is not a matter of charity but the purpose of governance.

“If those who govern truly understand the meaning of solidarity — walking in the slippers of the people not for show but for real, feeling their despair, carrying their burdens as their own, only then can the structures blurred by patronage be seen with moral clarity — and be reformed, reoriented, or even dismantled to give way to a society animated by radical solidarity,” she said.

Robredo’s 2021 keynote address for the Ramon Magsaysay Awards marks her sixth time doing so.

Robredo is among the aspirants seeking the presidency in the 2022 elections. –KBK, GMA News

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