‘An inspiration’: Zamboanga City mayor roots for Robredo in presidential race
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Clad in a dark fuchsia dress, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar danced to drums’ festive beat, heralding the arrival at City Hall of Vice President Leni Robredo last Jan. 26.
Amid the chanting and cheering of a crowd of government employees, civil society groups, and Robredo volunteers and supporters, Salazar ushered the vice president on a red carpet leading into the 114-year-old seat of local power.
When asked recently about her body language that day, Salazar returned the question: “What do you think? My clothes speak for itself.”
“Yes, I love her. For me, Leni is an inspiration,” Salazar said. “She showed me that we are true people serving our people,” she added.
During her visit here, Robredo handed over 500 COVID-19 care kits to the city government and launched the Ayudahan-Ekonsulta hub, also inside the City Hall.
At the time of Robredo’s visit, the city began to experience a surge of COVID-19 infections, necessitating that it be placed under Alert Level 3 status.
“This is a momentous occasion amidst the pandemic (that) VP Leni came over. Why? Because she is where the action is. Amidst the difficulty of the … surge, she comes to bring the needed care kits that will help the families of Zamboanga City,” Salazar had said.
But the assistance did not only come today.
“Way back when the pandemic started, her office was already coordinating with the city government providing the needed PPEs (personal protective equipment) when we ran out of these at that time,” Salazar recalled.
She added that the Office of the Vice President was the first national government office to respond to their call for aid in boosting local capacity to deal with the COVID-19 health emergency.
“That’s what a woman, a mother would do (because) she has compassion and love for her children… Her concerns are with her people,” Salazar pointed out.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.