Leni Robredo makes final pitch for solid Bicol vote
NAGA CITY, Philippines—Vice presidential candidate and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Thursday made a final pitch to fellow Bicolanos and asked them to rally behind her and other Liberal Party (LP) candidates in the May 9 elections.
Some 10,000 supporters, most of them wearing yellow shirts, welcomed President Benigno Aquino III and LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas who was with Robredo at her campaign rally in her home city.
Dream come true
Robredo said the Bicolanos’ dream of electing into high office a native of the region would be within reach if they would unite behind her candidacy.
“It is a dream come true, abot tanaw natin na ang boses ng Bicol ay marinig na sa itaas (We are almost there; our dream of having the voice of Bicol heard in national government is within sight),” Robredo said, adding that the more than 3 million Bicolano votes could help her beat her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Four other vice presidential candidates are claiming roots in, and affinity to, the Bicol region: Senators Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Robredo also credited Roxas for the survey results in his home province in the Visayas that, she said, had pulled her numbers up, making her a serious contender for the vice presidential post.
The widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo recalled how, despite scant resources, she managed to defeat a member of a prominent political clan in Bicol when she first entered politics in 2013 to represent Camarines Sur.
“When we started the campaign in 2013, I didn’t even have a sound system of my own and just about a dozen barangay captains allied with me out of almost 200 barangays. But we pursued with the pure intention of making a difference in governance against a dynasty,” she said.
Robredo said she also put her faith in her pure intention of serving the people with the kind of governance that her late husband espoused.
“When the first survey [results for Vice President] came out, I asked myself: What am I doing here? But I pursued (my campaign) with the help of supporters. After the [televised vice presidential debate last month], I think the people understood (what I was trying to do) so I steadily rose in the popularity ratings,” she said.
People felt Robredo’s sincerity wherever she went, Roxas said, as he enjoined the crowd to vote for her.
“I am directly appealing to all of you to ask your relatives, friends and acquaintances in all provinces of Bicol to support Leni so the votes of Bicolanos become solid (enough) to make her win the elections,” Roxas urged the crowd. Reports from Juan Escandor Jr. and Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon