OUTGOING Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday, June 27, 2022, passed the opposition leadership to Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Robredo administered the oath of office of Hontiveros, the highest elected official of the opposition, at the office of the Vice President in Quezon City.

"Ikaw na ang aming leader. Nasa likod mo lang kami, tutulong, kung kailan mo kami kailangan. You are now the highest elected official in the opposition," said Robredo.

"Kampante kami na patuloy mong ipaglalaban kung ano ang mabuting pamamahala, naroon kami na sumusuporta sa iyo. Kami na ang mga sundalo mo," she added.

For her part, Hontiveros, who is in her second senatorial term, vowed to help spur economic growth, restore healthcare services and push for the increased budgets of government agencies integral to recovery initiatives.

She said she will also continue her advocacy for a healthy lifestyle and livelihood for every Filipino.

"I remain an advocate in protecting our constitutional freedoms and our most basic human rights: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press. All these are fully guaranteed," Hontiveros said.

"But we will not tolerate people who bear false information. We will fight back harder, against rumors, lies, propaganda, and fake news. Let me make this even clearer: this is a stern warning to all the dubious characters in the fake news universe: This time, we will not let your reckless disregard for truth slander our democracy -- our country -- ever again," she added.

Hontiveros also commended Robredo for her anti-poor programs during her stint especially amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

She assured her continuous support to anti-poverty initiatives of the opposition especially Robredo who vowed to continue her works outside of public office.

"We will continue to support and work with Vice-President Leni Robredo, other opposition leaders, parties, and movements to redress inequality on the ground. Pararamihin natin ang mga Pilipinong nakikibahagi sa proseso ng demokrasya, upang maramdaman ng mas marami pa ang mga resulta nito," said Hontiveros.

"May we all remain strong in the fierce battle ahead," she added.

Among the laws principally authored by Hontiveros were Republic Act 10932, or The Act Strengthening the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law; Republic Act 11036, or the Philippine Mental Health Law; HIV and Aids Policy Act of 2018; and Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act.

Robredo, who ran but lost in her presidential bid in the just concluded national elections, will step down from the office on June 30. (SunStar Philippines)