PH need mother: Naga voters back Robredo as president | Inquirer News

PH ‘needs a mother’: Naga supporters back Robredo for president

/ 01:01 AM February 09, 2022
Photo of Leni Robredo in Naga for story: PH ‘needs a mother’: Naga calls on voters to pick Robredo for president

Naga City turned pink as it welcomed Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, the first day of campaign for the May elections. (Photo by GABRIEL PABICO LALU)

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo seems to be the most celebrated person in Naga City, her hometown, at the moment, with her supporters urging voters to pick her as president in the May 2022 elections because what the country needs is “a mother.”

A choir from the Solid Leni Bicoo group stressed the sentiment on Tuesday after Robredo delivered a speech at her proclamation rally at Plaza Quezon in Naga by singing a song titled “Isang Ina Ang Kailangan” (literally: What‘s needed is a mother).


According to the song, Robredo would be the much-needed answer to the country’s problems — the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the persistent corruption.

The song, rendered with a fireworks display, was the city’s sendoff for Robredo who had just embarked on a national campaign for the second time, after her successful vice presidential bid in 2016.

Return to Naga

Robredo has been in Naga since Monday — and other parts of the Bicol Region since the weekend.

On Tuesday, the first official day of the campaign, the city welcomed her by turning Plaza Quezon into a sea of pink, despite the distancing required to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Some supporters opted to watch from nearby buildings instead.

Aside from Nagaueños, Robredo also received well-wishes and expressions of support from several celebrities, including actress Rita Avila and Pinky Amador, who hosted the programs in Libmanan and Tigaon, respectively.

Megastar Sharon Cuneta, the wife of Robredo’s running mate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, also offered a message of support for the tandem. Cuneta was not able to attend the program because of her commitments to work.

However, it was the song that elicited the loudest noise from Naga residents, as they cheered Robredo on.

Husband’s legacy

In her message, Robredo said that the decision to start her campaign in the city was symbolic of her realization that bad politics and corruption could be solved by a good, honest, and humane government. That, she said, was achieved by her late husband, former mayor and Interior secretary Jesse Robredo.

“We chose to launch the next chapter of your fight here in Bicol — here, where I was born and where I grew up; where my principles and beliefs were formed, not only from what I learned in school but also from mingling with you,” she said in Filipino.

“It was here in Naga where Jesse became known,” she went on. “This is where we started our family. Most of all, here in Naga is where we saw the old and rotten kind of politics that could defeat good, competent, industrious, and humane governance. Here, the people put their trust in a leader who united with them: queuing up with them, sympathizing with the risks they took, living as simply as he did.”

Robredo stressed that her husband’s initiative of bringing power to the people was an example that could be replicated nationwide if she would get elected as president.

“We know the face of the old and rotten politics that we want to end. In this politics, it’s not always enough to have good intentions because the system moves often through transactions between allies and associates,” she said.

“This is the kind of politics that allows people to take selfies with you — and they will sing and dance for you, and hand you an envelope during campaigns. Because of this, whatever efforts you do, it seems your dreams move further away. Because of this, our countrymen has formed this sentiment: Whoever takes the post, everything just ends up in promises of change,” she added.

Touring CamSur

Robredo’s first campaign day started with a visit to a fishing community in Lupi, which used to be an Angat Buhay beneficiary.

After that, Robredo went to Libmanan, where she appeared to endorse Camarines Sur gubernatorial bet Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya — calling him the next governor of the province.

“[…] masunod na gobernador, Governor Nonoy Andaya,” Robredo said, speaking in Bicolano.

[Translation: “…the next governor, Governor Nonoy Andaya.”]

Robredo also got endorsements from various local candidates — among them, from incumbent Libmanan Mayor Bernard Brioso. But even Brioso’s opponent, former priest Dawe Pitapit, also appeared to endorse Robredo despite being an Aksyon Demokratiko member.

Aksyon Chair Ernest Ramel clarified in a message to that Pitapit applied to be a member of the party and was issued a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA).

“He applied to be Aksyon prior to Robredo running for president. He told us that if Robredo runs, he will shift support,” Ramel said.

“Since at that time, in Mayor Isko’s  [Isko Moreno] ‘unity talks’ with VP Robredo, she repeatedly said she will not be running and instead will support Mayor Isko’s candidacy. We confidently accepted the application of Dave Pitapit and issued him a CONA. We assume he is now with Robredo,” he added.

After Libmanan, Robredo visited other CamSur towns — Goa, Tigaon,  and Iriga — before returning to Naga.

Robredo’s team used a new form of face-to-face campaigning, where candidates would be on vehicles made up as floats and would speak from there to minimize exposure to people amid the still raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the trip, Robredo was accompanied by two of her daughters, Aika and Jillian. Pangilinan was also present, while eight candidates from her senatorial slate also presented their platforms to the public.

Earlier, Robredo has assured Bicolanos in her hometown, along with Filipinos streaming on social media sites, that the united and combined strength of their team would lead to a victory in the May 2022 national elections.

Robredo said she believed the people’s support for her was on display as her supporters heeded her call to help others, as she asked them to show a radical form of love.


Robredo rallies supporters: Our united strength will lead to victory in 2022 polls 

READ: VP Robredo to kick off campaign for presidency in Camarines Sur on Tuesday, Feb. 8

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