The story of Robinhood

His real name is Robinhood Ferdinand Cariño Padilla, but he is better known as Robin Padilla, the so-called “Bad Boy” of Philippine movies. Like his old namesake from Sherwood Forest, Robin is a swashbuckling hero to his legion of movie fans who have watched him portray anti-hero roles such as Anak ni Baby Ama, Bad Boy, Manila Boy and many other unforgettable action characters. Robin is not only a certified action man but a ladies’ man as well.

His handsome looks and dashing character have made girls swoon. He had been linked to famous women, which include Kris Aquino, Sharon Cuneta, Vina Morales and many others, any of them could have been his wife. Finally, he had been married to Liezl Sicangco while he was serving his prison sentence in Bilibid in 1996 for illegal possession of firearms. They divorced in 2007. Now, he found his Maid Marian in Mariel Rodriguez whom he married in Taj Mahal in India in 2010. 

Robin is an excellent communicator, and he can connect to the masses effectively. He talks with common sense and is conversant with the issues of the day. Robin does not resort to motherhood statements, which are pleasant to hear but hollow in content. He does not deliver his messages in English but in flawless Pilipino like the true Bulakeño that the men and women on the street can easily pick up and understand. He has amply demonstrated this in several interviews he gave during the campaign, which impressed listeners from all levels of society. In one interview, he confessed that he lacked the logistics to run a nationwide campaign. He admitted that he did not have the money and the machinery to support his senatorial bid. He had no campaign posters and TV and radio advertisements to promote his candidacy. A week before the election day, a TV ad appeared jointly promoting his candidacy and that of a fellow senatorial candidate who apparently paid for the ad. He was an official candidate of the PDP-Laban Party (Cusi Wing), which was neither here nor there. And while Mayor Sara supported him and claimed that Robin was the 12th senatorial candidate of the UniTeam, its standard-bearer, BBM, disowned him. That’s unfortunate because Robin’s second name, Ferdinand, was taken from Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.’s who was obviously idolized by Robin’s father. Robin was born on November 23, 1969 in Daet, the capital town of Camarines Norte where his father was the mayor of the adjoining town of Jose Panganiban, a couple of weeks after Marcos, Sr. was reelected as president by a landslide vote over Sergio Osmeña, Jr. Robin ran on a campaign of anti-poverty and anti-criminality. He supports President Duterte’s war on crimes, terrorism and illegal drugs. He promised to adopt community policing and establish community courts. He strongly advocates a shift to federalism to decentralize governmental powers to the regions and provinces. He believes that federalism will enhance the growth and development of the countryside. He has taken a liberal policy on divorce and same sex marriage, but favors the reinstitution of the death penalty. He subscribes to the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the US and the passage of an anti-dynasty law.

In the celluloid screen, Robin has always championed the poor and the oppressed. He vows to improve their plight through cooperatives, social and livelihood programs, setting up micro, small and medium enterprises across the country. Now that he is an honorable senator, our present day Robinhood does not have to steal from the rich in order to help the poor. 

Unknown to many, Robin has a political pedigree. His father, Casimero “Roy” Bustamante Padilla, Sr., was an undefeated mayor of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. He later served as assemblyman, vice governor and governor of the province. He never lost an election until he was felled by an assassin’s bullet on the eve of the election in 1988. Roy, Sr. also served as an SSS commissioner representing labor as he was the acknowledged union leader of the National Mines and Allied Workers Union, the biggest labor union of mineworkers in the country, for decades. He led the mine workers in practically all places where major mining industries existed during his time, such as in Benguet, Jose Panganiban and Paracale, Camarines Norte where the biggest iron and gold mines were found. Due to his great contribution to labor in the province, Roy, Sr. was made an adopted son of Camarines Norte. The natives voted him into office every time he ran for an election. After his untimely death at the age of 61, his son Roy, Jr. replaced him as the candidate and was overwhelmingly elected to succeed his father as governor of the province. Roy, Jr. also served in other capacities as congressman of Camarines Norte and mayor in Jose Panganiban. Robin’s half brother, Ricarte “Dong’’ Padilla, is the presumptive governor of Camarines Norte after ousting the incumbent governor, Edgardo Tallado, in the recently concluded elections. Robin’s grandfather, Jose Galvez Padilla, Sr., was a former governor and representative of Bulacan. He was a member of Partido Democrata. He was a lawyer and a movie actor whose screen name was Mario de Cordova. The Padillas that originated from Spain have a venerable political lineage with outstanding records of public service. The Padilla clan is a big and extensive family, which are all over Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Bicol and abroad. There are many branches of the family. His grandfather alone had seven wives and reportedly sired almost two-dozen children. His own father, Roy, Sr., was as prolific with several children as well. His uncles, Jose (Pempee) Padilla, Carlos Padilla, Sr. and Amado Cortez were also known as lady-killers. In the movie world alone, the Padillas can fill the entire production cast, including the extras, with others still not getting hired. From the grandfather down to the present generation of the Padillas, led by current heartthrob Daniel Padilla, the Padillas are the biggest showbiz family. I doubt if you can name them all: Mario de Cordova, Carlos Padilla Sr., Jose “Pempe” Padilla, Roy Padilla, Ateng Padilla Osorio, Cristina Aragon, Pilar Padilla, Amado Cortez, Gregorio Fernandez, Carlos “Sonny” Padilla, Jr., Rudy Fernandez, Zsa Zsa Padilla Mark Anthony Fernandez, Robin Padilla, Royette Padilla, Rommel Padilla, Rustom Padilla, Daniel Padilla, ad infinitum. His mother, Eva Cariño of Nueva Ecija, was a former movie actress herself. I won’t blame you if you lose count, but don’t wonder if Robin emerged as No. 1 in the senatorial race just with the support of the burgeoning clan alone.

Robin was given a conditional pardon by President Fidel V. Ramos who released him from imprisonment in 1995. President Rodrigo R. Duterte, whom he strongly supported for president in 2016, granted him an absolute pardon that restored his full civil and political rights. On May 9, 2022, Robin received the greatest gift that the Filipino people can give by voting him the No. 1 senator of our Republic. Now Robin will have his hands full fighting the Sheriffs of Nottingham—the tyrant rulers who mistreat the people.


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