Negros group goes ahead with bid to push Robredo into 2022 presidential race
BACOLOD CITY—Multi-sectoral groups in Negros Occidental, the fifth most vote-rich province in the Philippines, on Thursday (Feb. 25) declared their support for calls to push Vice President Leni Robredo into the 2022 presidential race.
“Today, we add our voices to all those in other parts of the country who call on VP Leni Robredo to run for President,” said Rafael Coscolluela.
“We urge everyone to join us as we fight back for a better future,” said the former governor who had promised in 2016 to deliver up to a million votes for then presidential candidate Mar Roxas, who got less than 600,000 votes when the counting ended.
Coscolluela, one of the organizers of the campaign called “Negros for Leni,” said at a press conference here that the group aimed to gather up to 100,000 signatures calling on Robredo to dive into the presidential race.
“We will launch a massive signature campaign using all our volunteers,” he said.
“There will be a parallel campaign on Facebook which can reach many more people even from outside the province,” Coscolluela added.
He said in the last two weeks, believers in the Vice President had launched significant initiatives in major population areas, like Metro Manila and Cebu, to push Robredo into the presidential race.
“This is not orchestrated by one national organization,” said Coscolluela. “It is spontaneous, independent, it’s happening all over. Eventually I hope that this will build up into a genuine people’s clamor,” he said.
The Negros for Leni campaign will also be supported by a web page that will explain the values and vision Robredo stands for, and as a venue for people to send in feedback on what they believed the next President should focus on.
Coscolluela said an important aspect of a Robredo presidency is the genuine connection she can provide between Malacañang and the people that allows them to speak out and even complain.
“Right now, if you complain you get Red-tagged. You get terrorized or get victimized by trolls,” he said.
Coscolluela said Robredo has not been informed ahead about the Negros for Leni campaign but the group wanted her to know there’s a clamor for her to jump into the race for the highest position in the land to replace President Rodrigo Duterte, who had repeatedly said Robredo was unqualified for the highest post.
Robredo’s public face is of one who has not made up her mind to run for President and Negros for Leni leaders hoped that public clamor would make her join the race.
“If she doesn’t make a public statement, hopefully she will just send a private confirmation so that we can begin the harder task of organizing a campaign machinery,” Coscolluela said.
The province is considered to be a bailiwick of the Roxas matriarch, Judy, who is from Bago City.
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