Leni supporters in the Visayas kick off presidential campaign
CEBU CITY — Supporters of Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo in the Visayas launched separate campaigns for the presidential bet on Tuesday, the first day of the campaign period for national candidates.
In Cebu, at least 30 members of the multi-sectoral group, Sugbuanon for Leni-Kiko (SLK), gathered at the campaign headquarters of Robredo and her running mate Senator Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan on Ramos Street, Cebu City, and held free legal and health services.
One of those who showed up was former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, leader of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and a good friend of Robredo’s late husband, former Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo.
While he promised to help Robredo in her presidential bid, Osmeña said he could not do the same with Pangilinan since his candidate for vice president was Senator Vicente Sotto III, whom he described as a family friend.
Osmeña said he believed Robredo was the best among the presidential candidates.
“Why I’m supporting Leni? Because what is at stake is what is good for this country. Leni is a decent person. I have reservations about all the leaders because no one is perfect, but if we have to choose, integrity is one of them,” he said.
“There are worthy candidates also, I like Manny Pacquiao, I like Ping Lacson. Bongbong (Marcos) is the worst, and Sara (Duterte) is just as bad as her father,” he added.
He said he could not imagine someone voting for Marcos, who could not even file his income tax.
Marcos, son and namesake of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, was convicted by the trial court for failing to file his income tax returns for 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985 when he served as vice governor and governor of Ilocos Norte.
Several petitions were filed at the Commission on Elections to disqualify Marcos Jr. for violating the Omnibus Election Code, which says any person convicted of a crime or offense involving moral turpitude is disqualified from running for an elective position.
The poll body has yet to release a ruling on the matter.
Virtual presscon in Iloilo
In Iloilo, Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr., Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, and some volunteers for Robredo held a joint virtual press conference to express support for the vice president’s bid to lead the country.
Treñas called on Ilonggos not to be apolitical, and show “all-out” support for Robredo, saying 95 percent of barangay officials in the city’s 180 barangays were supporting the vice-president.
“Leni Robredo is one of the few leaders who stood out and have shown reassuring virtues in the fight against this pandemic,” Treñas, one of the first local officials to endorse Robredo, said.
“…Despite the limited resources, (she) was able to create a huge impact in the lives of many Filipinos through her promising COVID initiatives and the programs she opened for years,” he said.
Defensor, for his part, said the fundamental needs of the country, such as food security, would be prioritized under a Robredo presidency, citing her record and background as an economist, lawyer, and as a “fundamentally good person.”
“We will do everything (in support of Robredo),” the governor said.
Supporters of Robredo, Pangilinan and their senatorial slate held various activities in Iloilo and Aklan provinces.
A Mass was celebrated at the St. Anne Parish Church in Molo District in Iloilo City, which is known for the images of 16 women saints along both sides of the altar.
The Makabayan party and allied party-list groups, which have endorsed Robredo and Pangilinan, also held a caravan along the main streets of the city.
Pink Zumba in Aklan
Activities were held in the 17 towns of Aklan, including a caravan, Mass, market tours, and candle-lighting.
On Boracay Island, volunteers of Robredo joined a Zumba routine and a beach clean-up drive.
Pinksplosion in Bohol
In Bohol, Robredo’s supporters held a series of activities dubbed as “Pinksplosion.”
A “noise barrage” was held at 7 a.m., followed by the blessing and opening of a volunteer center at J. A. Clarin Street in Tagbilaran City.
More than 100 vehicles joined the pink caravan around 3 p. m. at the main streets of Tagbilaran.
The event ended with a Zumba session.
Pink Fiesta in Bacolod
In Negros Occidental, Robredo’s volunteers held a ‘Pink Fiesta’ in Bacolod city, a concert participated in by various volunteer groups from the province.
Among those who participated in the concert were members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Robredo’s volunteers attended a Mass in Silay City while separate pink caravans were held in Talisay and Sagay cities and Calatrava town.
Volunteers in Sagay also launched a cafe called ‘Kapehan ni Leni’ and celebrated the first day with a coastal clean-up and a Zumba. – reports from Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Nestle Semilla, Carla P. Gomez and Leo Udtohan, Inquirer Visayas
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