The two leading contenders in Monday’s presidential election present Filipino voters with a clear choice: the country’s vice president, who has been the one to test President Rodrigo Duterte against the main family. most controversial treatment in the Philippines.
Leni Robredo, who was elected separately from Mr. Duterte, is an outspoken critic of the president and a frequent target of insults to him. She’s voting a second behind the leader, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.the only and eponymous son of the former dictator.
But perhaps the biggest surprise in this election is source of support for Ms. Robredo from “Generation Z” and millennials. Many of her supporters are first-time voters or too young to vote.
Ms Robredo, widow of a government minister who died in a plane crash in 2012, drew comparisons for Corazon Aquino, the country’s former president, who had been swept into office following the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino, and the massive “People Power” uprising that toppled the Marcos regime.
However, Ms. Robredo, who has served as a congressman and as a lawyer and economist, has more political experience than Ms. Aquino. In 2016, she narrowly beat Marcos to win the vice presidency. Ms. Robredo has vowed to stop extrajudicial killings in the violent war on drugs overseen by Mr. Duterte.
In an interview, Tricia Robredo, one of Ms. Robredo’s daughters, said her mother was reluctant to run for office because she had told her family she would not run for re-election. “It was a promise to her daughters and the bigger goal is to prevent Marcos from returning as president,” said young Robredo. “I think that’s what she went through in her head.”
But when no one emerged as a unified opposition candidate to take on Mr. Marcos, she made her name in the ring late last year.