Don’t do that: Robredo to supporters calling to boycott restos supportive of Marcos 

Vice President Leni Robredo. Screengrab from Facebook / OVP file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo warned her supporters who appeared to be discriminating against certain sectors, asking them to refrain from calling a boycott of restaurants serving or supporting the Marcoses.

Robredo said during a briefing in Naga City, Camarines Sur on Wednesday that she was “alarmed” over calls not to patronize restaurant in Iloilo City for serving food to former senator Bongbong Marcos, as divisiveness contradicts their call for inclusivity.

The Vice President is set to run for president in the 2022 national elections, squaring off against several opponents including Marcos, son of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

“Ako na-alarm ako no’n kasi hindi naman natin ine-encourage ‘yong ganitong mga actions, kaya nga kung napapansin niyo nag-eexert ako ng effort na magpahayag sa mga supporters na ‘wag nating tularan ‘yong style ng iba,” Robredo told reporters in Naga.

(I was alarmed by that, because we do not encourage these actions, that’s why if you have noticed I have exerted effort to tell supporters that we should not emulate the style of other camps.)

She also urged her supporters again to respect differences in beliefs, and refrain from being imposing in sharing their beliefs to other people.

“Kaya parati ko sinasabi ‘yong term na ‘pagmamahal,’ na meron tayong differences sa paniniwala, sa choices kung sino ‘yong susuportahan, pero dapat hindi natin ini-impose ‘yong choice natin sa iba,” Robredo explained.

(That’s why I have repeatedly used the term ‘to love,’ that despite differences in beliefs, in whom we support, we should not impose our choice on others.)

“Ang tinutulak natin mas maging inclusive, na kung meron na mga tao na iba ‘yong choices igalang natin […] hindi natin iniimpose ‘yong kagustuhan natin sa iba,” she added.

(What we are pushing for is inclusivity, and if there are others who have different choices we should respect that, not being imposing against what other people want.)

According to Robredo, she was tagged in a Facebook post about the incident, which stemmed after some of her supporters saw Marcos inside an Iloilo restaurant for a meeting.

The Vice President has already forwarded the concern to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, who eventually made a statement late Tuesday night.

“So sa akin dapat hindi natin ine-encourage ‘yong mga ganito.  Alam ko na kapag eleksyon maraming mga divisiveness ‘yong nangyayari, pero tayo naman lagi nating pino-promote ‘yong pagkakaisa, at ‘yong pagkakaisa dapat ngayong kampanya simulan na, hindi ‘yong after the campaign.  Na kahit iba-iba ‘yong ating paniniwala, respetuhan tayo,” she added.

(So for me we should not encourage these acts.  I understand that every election there is a huge divisiveness, but we have always advocated for unity, and it should start during the campaign, not after it.  That even if we have different beliefs, we would respect each other.)

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Treñas said that even as he supports Robredo, Iloilo should remain a place for inclusivity — regardless of differences in political beliefs, sexual preferences, or other variations.

Treñas stressed that even if an establishment supports Marcos, they should not be subjected to boycotts.

“As one of the supporters of VP Leni for President, there is no list of establishments that are supposed to be boycotted because they are supporting Bongbong Marcos. Iloilo has always been a place of inclusivity not only for different political orientations, sexual preferences or even food preferences,” he said.

The local chief executive also admonished those making boycott calls, saying that beliefs on who the next president should be can be espoused in a gentler manner.

“Iloilo city is a place where you can openly espouse who your president is without any political retaliation from the community, unless you become overly obnoxious and undesirable; if you do, do not expect people to love you in return. VP Leni has nothing to do with your relationship in the community,” he noted.

Marcos has not directly spoken about the issue, but in his Facebook post on Tuesday, he urged people to continue supporting local businesses as people try to recover from the pandemic.

“May mga pagkakaiba man, huwag nating idamay ang mga negosyo ng mga taong naghahayag ng kanilang paninindigan.  Pare-pareho po tayong bumabangon sa pandemya upang maitaguyod ang ating mga pamilya. Tulungan natin imbes na hadlangan ang ating kapwa guminhawa,” he said.

(Even if we have differences, let us not drag into politics the enterprises of businessmen who are expressing their own stand.  All of us are trying to recover from a pandemic to feed our families.  Let us help each other instead of stopping aspirations for a more comfortable life.)

Robredo and Marcos are expected to be on collision course once again for the 2022 national elections, coming off from their tight contest in the 2016 vice presidential race.

The Vice President is currently relying on a people’s campaign, where volunteer groups campaign on her behalf.  However, she has also issued reminders several times as her supporters were criticized for being elitist and condescending on social media discussions.


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