OVP: Some Robredo volunteers report their tarps, ribbons got ripped off
MANILA, Philippines — Volunteers supporting the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo have complained about their tarpaulins, posters, and ribbons being taken down, her spokesperson said.
According to Office of the Vice President (OVP) spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s supporters from Zamboanga City reached out to them about the materials placed on private properties — being removed from Wednesday and Thursday morning.
Gutierrez said that this is a form of repression regarding the people’s rights to support a particular candidate, especially in a country that embraces democracy.
“Umabot sa amin ang mga balitang tinatanggal ang mga poster, tarp, at iba pang materyales na nagpapahayag ng suporta kay VP Leni,” Gutierrez said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
(Reports and news of posters, tarps, and other materials showing support to VP Leni being removed have reached our office.)
“Isa itong paglabag sa karapatan ng lahat ng Pilipino na malayang ipahayag ang suporta nila sa isang kandidato at hindi dapat ginagawa ninuman, lalo na sa isang demokratikong bansa tulad ng Pilipinas,” he added.
(This is a violation of every Filipinos’ right to free speech and express support for their preferred candidate, which nobody should do, especially in a democratic country like the Philippines.)
Aside from Zamboanga, Gutierrez said they also got information that Robredo’s supporters in Masbate City experienced the same thing before she visited the area last Tuesday.
Gutierrez, a lawyer by profession, stressed that the campaign materials were not made or paid for by Robredo, rather, it was the initiative of supporters who are backing the Vice President’s grassroots campaign.
The actions, he said, may have stemmed from sectors and camps that fear that the people’s campaign backing Robredo is growing in strength nationwide.
“Ipinapaalam namin na ang mga ito ay gawa ng mga volunteer at binayaran galing sa sarili nilang bulsa bilang bahagi ng people’s campaign,” Gutierrez said
(We would like to inform you that these initiatives were done by our volunteers, using their own money as part of the people’s campaign.)
“Sa mga gumagawa nito, ganito na ba talaga sila katakot, na pati posters ni VP Leni na kinabit ng ating mga volunteers kailangang tanggalin?” he asked.
(For those who did this, are they really this scared that even the posters of VP Leni, which volunteers posted, need to be removed?)
OVP has not pinpointed anyone they believe was behind the incident, but removing the campaign materials is the latest attempt to disturb Robredo’s campaign. Last November 22, delivery riders carrying over P100,000 worth of grocery items went to the OVP office in New Manila, Quezon City, saying that Robredo had placed the orders.
Gutierrez said that Robredo did not make any order, adding that it might be the work of people scared of the Vice President’s prospects in the 2022 polls.
Robredo meanwhile condemned those who did the prank, saying that more than her and OVP, it was the delivery riders who were inconvenienced as they had to wait for some time to clarify the orders and to have the items returned to the mobile grocery company.
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