Leni Robredo’s salute in the rain on Independence Day gets cheers and jeers

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Vice President Leni Robredo led the 120th Independence Day rites at the Luneta Park on June 12. (Edd Gumban/The Star)

Photos and videos of Vice President Leni Robredo saluting the Philippine flag under the rain during the Independence Day rites at Rizal Park spread online and got both cheers and jeers.

Those who praised it described her as someone to emulate, particularly describing her “snappy salute” to the national flag.

Others lauded the photo taken by Noel Celis, an award-winning Filipino photojournalist of the Agence France-Press, and used it to express their own support for the vice president.

Others criticized Robredo saying she stood in the rain just for show and that it does not make her admirable.

One Twitter user described her not using an umbrella as “dramatic flair” to her supposed gesture of honor.

“It adds dramatic flair to their ‘resistance’: that Leni is willing to brave the elements to honor the sacrifices of our heroic ancestors. That’s what Leni is for—publicity, posturing and political entertainment,” TishaCM posted.

One Twitter user responded be pointing out the Marine honor guards flanking the sides of the monument.

“In case you forgot, there are [guards] around VP Leni who are saluting the flag under the rain also,” Queen S. posted.

Many people were also quick to notice how Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte did not celebrate the country’s freedom day together.

Separate celebrations

Duterte’s Independence Day speech in Kawit, Cavite was his first because he skipped the previous year’s celebrations at the last-minute saying he was not feeling well at that time.

During this year’s celebrations, the president reportedly skipped the wreath-laying and arrival honors because of the rain.

Some users compared Duterte to Robredo, who was a regular attendee of the official event.

“Remember how President Duterte failed to attend the Independence Day rights last year? Today, VP Leni Robredo stood her ground despite of the pouring rain to show her respect to the Philippine flag,” Twitter user Selle said.

Honoring the national flag is governed by Republic Act No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.