Robredo’s PasigLaban speech hits realistic note: We need to convince others to join us
MANILA, Philippines — Even with big crowds assembling in the heart of Pasig’s business district, Vice President Leni Robredo’s speech appeared to hit a realistic but hopeful note as she called on her supporters to convince other people to join their presidential campaign.
Robredo during the PasigLaban rally on Sunday initially described their people’s campaign as one turning into a crusade for good governance, saying that the huge number of people converging on rally sites is proof of a desire for changes.
But she also noted that a lot of people still do not agree with their campaign, and they should be convinced gently by her supporters.
“Malinaw na malinaw din po: Ang People’s Campaign natin, naging krusada na talaga ito […] Fifty days to go. Fifty days, Pasig at NCR. Kaya pa ba nating doblehin pa ang pagsisikap? Kaya ba nating lakihan pa ang ating mga puso? Nagsimula tayo sa halos wala; nandito na tayo ngayon. May fifty days pa. Ibuhos na natin ang lahat,” Robredo said.
(It is clear by now: Our people’s campaign has turned into a crusade. Fifty days to go. Fifty days, Pasig and NCR. Can we double our efforts? Can we make our hearts bigger? We started from almost nothing, but now we are here. We still have fifty days. Let’s pour every ounce of effort into this.)
“Imbitahin po natin ang mga wala pa dito: Kahit napakarami na natin ngayong gabi, marami pa din ang hindi natin kasama. Gusto po natin sa kanilang sabihin, welcome na welcome po kayo dito. Sana makita nila, masaya dito. Punong-puno ng pag-asa dito,” she added.
(Let us invite those who are not yet here. Even if many have assembled here, a lot of people are not with us yet. We want to tell them, you are very welcome here. I hope they see that it is happy here, it is full of hope here.)
Robredo reminded the people to try their best to discuss politics gently — smile as much as possible — when engaging supporters of other camps, saying that such a thing is not hard to do.
Aside from that, the Vice President stressed that volunteers should be humble enough to understand that there are reasons as to why people are picking other sides.
“Kaya ba nating kumatok sa mga pintuan? Sa mga Zoom meetings natin o sa mga chat rooms, sa jeepney o sa mga Grab, sa tambayan o sa palengke, ibahagi natin ang ating mensahe; isadiwa ang pag-asa, pagkakaisa, at pagmamahal na pundasyon ng ating laban. Pakiusap ko po ngumiti habang nakikipagkuwentuhan, mahirap ba ‘yun? Hindi naman mahirap, di ba?” she asked.
(Can we knock on doors? Say these things on our Zoom meetings or chat rooms, over jeepney or Grab trips, to areas where people flock or inside markets, tell them our message: give meaning to hope, unity, and love which are the foundation of our fight. I just want you to smile while doing this while exchanging stories. Is that hard? I don’t think that’s hard.)
“Unawain po natin ang pinanggagalingan ng ating mga kausap; magpakumbaba po tayo, maging mahinahon sa pagdidiin ng katotohanan, ipaliwanag po natin ang mga motibo, intindihin ang motibo din sa likod ng mga kasinungalingan: Na kaya may fake news, para watakin tayong lahat. Dapat hindi natin ‘yun payagan,” she added.
(Let us understand where other people are coming from. Let us be humble, be gentle, and calm in stressing the truth, in explaining the motives — the motives that are behind all the lies. That there is fake news to destroy us, which we should not permit.)
It was not only Robredo who issued the same sentiments — motivational speaker and businessman Anthony Pangilinan, the younger brother of Robredo’s running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan, also said that it cannot be just the huge crowds who will pick the opposition tandem for the 2022 national elections.
Anthony made a speech on behalf of the Senator who was at the vice-presidential debates hosted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We cannot do this alone, kailangan po nating kausapin ang mga nagdadalawang isip, mga takot pang manindigan, kahit minsan nakaka-irita, nakakainis paminsan-minsan, eh kailangan,” the younger Pangilinan said.
(We cannot do this alone, we need to talk to other people who are thinking twice, or those who are still afraid to take a stand — even though sometimes it might be irritating, we really need to do that.)
“Hindi pwedeng tayo lang (It cannot be us alone),” he added.
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV also made a realistic remark, as he said that even internal surveys show Robredo still trailing the frontrunner, former senator Bongbong Marcos.
However, Trillanes said that Robredo has managed to narrow the gap between her and Marcos.
“Alam niyo po may ipagtatapat po ako sa inyo, dahil kakatapos lang po ng aming survey, at lamang pa rin po ang kalaban. Pero ang good news, dumidikit na si Leni,” he declared.
(You know I have something to admit: because our internal survey has just ended, and it showed that the opponent still leads. But the good news is Leni has been narrowing the gap.)
Despite the huge crowd turnout for Robredo’s rallies across the country — including Pasig’s 130,000 crowd, according to organizers — the Vice President is still trailing Marcos in the surveys.
In the Pulse Asia survey released last February, Marcos was well ahead of Robredo, getting 60 percent of the respondents to vote for him if elections were to be held from January 19 to 24. Robredo only got 16 percent of the respondents.
The surveys released on March showed Marcos being able to maintain his lead over Robredo, still getting 60 percent of the votes, with Robredo’s share dwindling even by one percentage point.