The beauty queen, who is among the country’s most influential figures, revealed her presidential and vice presidential bets through an April 18 YouTube vlog titled “Pinuno: Para sa Bayan,” where she highlighted her considerations in choosing her ideal leaders, according to published reports in Manila.
“My vote for vice president is Kiko Pangilinan. My choice for president is Leni Robredo,” she said in the video which has since garnered more than 300,000 views as of writing.
Gray described Pangilinan as a “long-serving public servant, effective legislator authoring 79 laws, and active advocate for the agricultural sector, education and national welfare.”
The beauty queen also noted that among the presidential bets, Robredo is “the only candidate with experience in all three branches of our government: judiciary as a volunteer lawyer, legislative as a congresswoman, and executive as a vice president.”
Gray said the COVID-19 pandemic response was also an important indicator of capabilities of leaders.
“And I believe that one of the most competent responses during the pandemic was that under the stewardship of her Office of the Vice President, which has actually reflected the highest audit rating from the COA (Commission on Audit), three consecutive years in a row,” she said.
Gray also highlighted Robredo’s initiatives for education, poverty reduction and women empowerment through her Angat Buhay program, among other existing projects for marginalized Filipinos. She lauded the Vice President’s respectfulness towards others, her willingness to listen.
“Above all else, of all the candidates, she’s the only one who gives me hope for change for the future that I wish to see for my country,” Gray added.
The beauty queen has clarified that she still respects others with different views, but she is encouraging the public to take part in meaningful political conversations and use their time to research and make informed decisions.
“At the end of the day, I believe no matter who your vote stands with, each and every one of us, every Filipino wants the same thing: a better future, a cleaner government, better and equal opportunities and better quality and security of life for all,” she said.
Earlier, Miss Universe 2015 and actress Pia Wurtzbach endorsed presidential candidate Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo.
In fact, Pia posted on social media that she has voted for Robredo as an absentee Filipino overseas voter in the United Arab Emirates.
Celebrities in the Philippines have been rooting for the top three presidential candidates led by frontrunner former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Robredo, and Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso since the start of the campaign.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson also has his own set of stars since his runningmate Senate President Vicente Sotto III is an actor-singer noted for the top-rating noontime show “Eat Bulaga.”
Overseas Filipinos started voting for president, vice president, 12 senators and a party-list representative on April 10.
The Commission on Elections reported that there are 1.7 million registered overseas Filipino voters in more than 100 countries, including the United States and Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Saudi Arabia where bulk of voters are based.
The voting became controversial due to some early glitches and a after-voting survey being conducted by what Comelec said as unauthorized persons.
Wurtzbach has been in the UAE since late January, according to her home studio ABS-CBN in a report.
The report stated that on Instagram, Wurtzbach shared a photo of her posing in a pink suit — the campaign color of Robredo — with the Philippine Embassy’s seal behind her.
“As a first time voter, I must say that it felt so good to vote today. Emotional actually. May halong excitement & relief that I finally took my stand. Shading that little black dot felt like I was finally making a choice towards our future. I know I’m only 1 person. Only 1 vote out of millions but every vote counts,” she wrote.
Wurtzbach, the ABS-CBN report added,, expressed regret over what she learned during the voting process: “that only about 30% of already registered voters here in UAE are expected to vote.”
“Sayang naman kung ganon,” she added. “If you’re a Filipino living abroad who’s already registered, please make time for it because your vote counts. You have one whole month to do this so there’s really no excuse not to. Plus, the process in Abu Dhabi was super seamless.”
The beauty queen, an influential figure on social media with some 13.5 million followers on Instagram alone, then revealed who she voted for.