Five National Artists declare support for Robredo’s presidential bid
MANILA, Philippines — Five National Artists on Monday declared their support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, who was described as the “only hope of our country.”
During a Valentine’s day celebration dubbed as “Pusuan ang Sining at Kultura: State of the HeART,” the National Artists cited the reasons why they would vote for Robredo.
“She’s my candidate for president…She’s honest, she’s incorruptible, she’s hardworking, she’s intelligent, she’s dignified, she has integrity. She shows up, she gets things done, she knows what she’s doing,” Benedicto Cabrera, National Artist for Visual Arts, said in a taped video message.
“She’s everything the current president is not. She’s the only hope of our country,” he went on.
Other National Artists who expressed support for Robredo include Ramon Santos and Ryan Cayabyab, National Artists for Music as well as Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature, and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes.
In backing Robredo, Reyes lamented the state of the country and cited the rising prices of basic commodities.
“Alam na natin sobra nang kawawa ang ating bayan, pero tayo ang bumoboto sa ating mga leaders,” she said.
She took a swipe at politicians who just “want to stay in power.”
“Nasa kamay natin ang future ng ating bayan. So kaming mga artista, alam namin na merom sa mga political leaders, mabibilang namin sa mga kamay namin yung nagmamahal sa kanilang citizens, inaalagaan ang health, education, artistic programs, pero bihirang bihira ‘yon, so enough of politicians who only think of themselves,” she said.
(The future of our country is in our hands. So we, the artists, know that there are a few handful of political leaders who are indeed have genuine love for our fellow citizen, who have health, education, artistic program, but they are few.)
Reyes then recalled how Robredo won the vice presidency in 2016 “against all odds.”
“She served brilliantly, quietly, steadily without any fanfare. And she has reminded us that we can do this. She needs us, we need her,” she added.
For his part, Cayabyab said he sees that only Robredo is capable of steering the country in a direction that would uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
“Hindi pa siya presidente, tapat na magsilbi, ang tono at gawa niya ay walang pagkukunwari. Matapang, hindi umuurong pero hindi bully, compassion sa kahit sinong tao,” he said.
(She’s not yet a president but she is already serving, and the tone of her works are not pretentious. Courageous, not backing out of anything but not a bully, compassionate to any people.)
Santos also pushed for Robredo’s victory in the May 9 polls. Almario, meanwhile, lamented what he said is the lack of cultural platforms of previous officials that led the country in the past decades.
“Kulang tayo sa pag-ibig sa bayan, bulok ang ating mga social values. ‘Di natin alam ang ating kasaysayan at kaya kulang na kulang tayo sa dangal ng isang mamamayang Pilipino,” Almario said.
(We lack the love for our nation, our social values are rotting. We do not know our history that is why we lack the honor of being a Filipino.)
This, he noted, was the reason why he led cultural workers, writers, artists and educators in forming the Katipunan sa Kultura at Kasaysayan (KKK) 2022, which organized Monday’s event together with the group, Artists for Leni.
For her part, Robredo committed to push for programs to boost the country’s creative industry and bring more awareness to the Philippines’ arts and culture.
“Hindi po natatapos sa hapon na ‘to yung pagpapangako. Magiging malaking bahagi siya ng agenda ng aming administrasyon kapag kami’y nabigyan ng pagkakataon,” she said.
Senior citizens, LGBTQIA+
The vice president also got the backing of senior citizens.
In an event later in the day, Robredo and her vice presidential running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, signed a covenant with “Seniors4Leni,” which is composed of over 6,000 senior citizens from various sectors and professions.
Robredo and Pangilinan, together with some members of their senatorial slate, also signed a covenant with the group, “LGBTQIA+ for Leni,” seeking to uphold the rights of all members of the said community.
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