Robredo gets warm, crowded welcome in Eastern Visayas | Inquirer News

Robredo gets warm, crowded welcome in Eastern Visayas

/ 08:26 AM March 30, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s presidential campaign got a boost from local officials during her slate’s tour of Eastern Visayas on Monday and Tuesday.


Robredo was repeatedly surprised on seeing huge crowds at her rallies in the region — notably, the People’s Rally in Calbayog City in Samar, which, according to local officials, drew a crowd of over 7,000 individuals, and the Grand Rally in Catarman in Northern Samar, which drew a crowd of over 73,000.

She also got the support of key officials — Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, who had already endorsed her candidacy; Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan; Western Samar Vice Gov. Angelica Gomez; and 21 of 24 mayors of the Northern Samar towns who showed up at the sorties.


“You know, I wasn’t expecting that not only would there be so many of you but that you would also be so happy and that you would give me such a warm welcome. So thank you very much,” Robredo said in Filipino at the Calbayog rally.

“You know the campaign that we had grown accustomed to? The supporters would wait for the candidate to make a move. Wasn’t that how campaigns used to be? But now, even though, we haven’t seen and talked to each other, you all found a way to help in the campaign,” Robredo added.

The huge crowds — who withstood both a rain shower and hot weather — were unprecedented, something that she did not see when she was running for vice president in 2016, she said.

“How many hours have you been standing? Seven hours — and that when it was warm and it was raining. And you know, I have been here in Northern Samar several times, even when I was a candidate in 2016. But it’s only now that I have seen so many people,” Robredo said.

“Thank you very much. Thank you very much to all of you,” she added.

During Tuesday night’s rally at Borongan, Eastern Samar, several local officials also came out to endorse Robredo, including Eastern Samar Lone District Rep. Maria Fe Abunda, Borongan City Mayor Jose Dayan, and other executives from nearby towns.

In her speech, Abunda stressed in the local language that Robredo, despite having little funding, pushed through with her projects, especially her anti-poverty program Angat Buhay, with the help of the private sector.


Robredo vowed to address issues hounding Eastern Visayas towns — like vulnerability to calamities, environmental issues, lack of livelihood, and power shortage,

She earlier had a chance to visit and assess the situation in far-flung towns.

“This morning we arrived early in Maslog. We were all together. And Governor Ben [Evardone] was right, though some of those who were with me were having second thoughts because of security. There’s Mayor Rac  [Heraclio C. Santiago] of Maslog. Let’s give Mayor Rac Santiago a hand,” Robredo said.

“I told them this is the kind of trip that I want to join — going to the farthest and smallest places. Maybe if we were to count the number of voters there for Mayor Rac, maybe I won’t come here — if my visit is only because of politics. That’s because, first of all, it’s so far away. Second, Mayor Rac said the population of Maslog is just almost 10,000,” she added.

“But why is it important for public servants like us to visit the place the farther, the smaller it is — especially if it has only a few voters? Because very often, these are the places that are seldom visited. And when a place is seldom visited, sometimes the projects there are few,” she went on.

In 2016, Robredo won the vice presidential race against former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the provinces Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar.

Robredo beat Marcos with 93,136 votes to 54,175 in Eastern Samar; 110,230 to 72,152 in Northern Samar; and 132,493 to 128,088 in Western Samar.

But overall, in the entire Eastern Visayas, she lost to Marcos by 37,587 votes. That was because her rival’s mother, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, hails from Leyte province.

Even if Robredo won by 53,305 votes in Southern Leyte, any lead she could have had was erased by Marcos’ 165,000 lead in Leyte alone.


Huge rallies fan surge in Robredo endorsers

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