Robredo 'excited' for Northern Luzon campaign sorties | Inquirer News

Robredo ‘excited’ for Northern Luzon campaign sorties

/ 03:52 PM March 10, 2022
Robredo Northern Luzon sorties

Vice President Leni Robredo reads the placard prepared by supporters in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. Image from VP Leni Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is excited at the thought of campaigning in Northern Luzon, saying she now enjoys strong support from the northern provinces compared to the 2016 national elections.

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However, the Vice President admitted on Thursday that there is a need to exert more effort as her campaign team visits the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela over the weekend. Both provinces are considered bailiwicks of her opponent, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

“‘Yong 2016, talagang pagpunta ko sa North, parang suicidal siya in the sense na hindi mo nga alam kung may haharap sa’yo. Ngayon iba eh, months before kami pumunta, ‘yung mga volunteers doon sobrang active na […] So ako, actually excited ako to go, knowing na may mga naglalakas ng loob despite the difficulties,” Robredo told reporters in Alcantara, Romblon.

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(In 2016 when we visited the North, it was suicidal in the sense that you do not even know if somebody would meet you.  But now it’s different, the volunteers are so active months before our visit, so I am actually excited to go, knowing that some have shown strength despite the difficulties.)

“May mga lugar din na kailangan mong mag-exert ng more effort. And ‘yung pagpunta sa north, admittedly, kailangan mag-exert ng more effort, pero wala naman– ako, basta nakapag-reach out tayo sa kanila, better than not going,” she added.

(There are areas where you really need to exert more effort.  And visiting the north, admittedly, you need to exert more effort, but I do not have concerns — for me, I want to reach out to them, because it’s better than not going.)

Robredo is referring to the support given by volunteer groups and people’s campaign members across the country, including those in Isabela and in the Ilocos region.  During the start of the official campaign season last February 8, some 13 groups led by local chapters of the Robredo People’s Council and opposition coalition 1Sambayan came out to express support for her presidential candidacy.

READ: Ilocano groups back Robredo’s presidential bid, cite her ‘bravery, competence’ in public service

Robredo said this kind of support was not present in 2016, when she narrowly edged Marcos in the vice presidential race.

“They may not approximate the numbers na nandoon sa kabilang kampo, pero wala ako nito noon eh. So, ngayon, parang mas confident ako sa pagbisita, knowing na pagpunta namin may magho-host sa amin, may sasalo sa amin. Hindi ito available sa amin noong 2016, and fully aware kami kung ano na ‘yung mga ginagawa nila from the start, and dumadami,” she explained.

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(They may not approximate the numbers of the other camp, but I didn’t have this before.  So now, I am more confident in visiting knowing that when we arrive somebody would host us.  This was not available to us in 2016, and we are fully aware about what they are doing, and how the numbers have increased.)

“Alam natin halimbawa, ‘yung pupuntahan ko on Saturday, Cagayan saka Isabela. Halimbawa, ‘yung sa Isabela, alam natin na nagkaroon ng maraming controversies about ‘yung sa pagbaklas ng mga tarps, and talagang nanindigan ‘yung mga volunteers natin doon,” she added.

(We know that for example, the areas I would visit on Saturday, Cagayan and Isabela.  We know that in Isabela there has been some controversy about the removal of campaign materials, and how our volunteers stood up against these actions.)

In 2016, during her vice presidential campaign, Robredo’s sorties in Northern Luzon were described as “low-key,” as Ilocos Norte remained part of a so-called “Solid North” vote for Marcos.

READ: Robredo finds Marcos country ‘cold’

Marcos, who hails from Batac, Ilocos Norte, won in all northern provinces in 2016 except for Batanes.  In Cagayan, Marcos got over 374,000 votes compared to Robredo’s 53,800; in Isabela, the gap was even bigger at 504,000 to 86,000.

In total, Marcos got 1.047 million votes in Cagayan Valley, with Robredo getting 184,520 votes.

Results were even more lopsided in the Ilocos Region with Marcos getting 1.764 million votes, and Robredo only getting 297,000.

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said it appears that there is no “Solid North” for Marcos. He said he did not feel it when he visited Pangasinan and Baguio City.

READ: ‘Solid North’ for Marcos Jr.? Lacson, Sotto say it’s untrue

Robredo in a past interview said the votes she got in the Ilocos Region were crucial as she only away from Marcos by around 260,000 votes.

“Talagang napakaliit na percentage ‘yung nakuha ko sa Region I pero wala akong pagsisisi na pumunta ako, kasi actually ‘yung botong nakuha ko, ‘yun yung boto na nilamang ko noong eleksyon. Ang pinaka-aral sa akin ng ganitong exercise ay wala talagang effort, walang oras na nasasayang basta ‘yung puso ay nandoon sa ginagawa,” Robredo said in a virtual townhall meeting last January 27.

(I really got a small percentage of votes from Region 1 but I am not regretting that I visited the area, because the vote that I got was actually how much I led during the last elections.  The lesson behind this exercise is that no effort and time would be considered wasted if you love what you are doing.)

Marcos at present is leading the voter preference surveys. According to a Pulse Asia survey released in February, the former senator would be the winner if the elections were to be held from January 19 to 24, 2022. In the Pulse Asia survey, Marcos got a 60 percent voter preference.

Robredo only got a 16 percent voter preference in the same survey.

READ: Marcos Jr. and Duterte still leading in Pulse Asia poll

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 national elections, Cagayan, Cagayan Valley, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Ilocos region, Isabela, Leni Robredo, northern Luzon, Office of the Vice President, OVP, Philippine news updates, Solid North
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