Robredo offers ‘government that’s always available’ during ‘Leniwanag sa Silangan’ rally in Rizal
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday night promised people who showed up at the People’s Rally in Antipolo City that if elected president, she would bring in a government that is always available for the people, and that she had the receipts to prove that this had been her way even before the campaign.
Robredo was addressing the jampacked crowd that attended the Leniwanag sa Silangan campaign rally held at the Rizal Provincial Capitol grounds in Antipolo City, which stretched out until late Tuesday night, despite incessant rains. Organizers placed attendance to the rally at 43,000.
In her speech, Robredo said that people in Rizal province already know that she and her Office of the Vice President have been among the first responders during calamities — whether it be fires, earthquakes, or storms.
“Bawat sakuna, alam po ito ng mga binibisita natin, sa Rodriguez, sa San Mateo, sa Cainta, magbagyo, sunog, o ano pang mga sakuna, halos kami po, napaka-aga naming pumunta dito para gumawa ng relief operations. Mataas pa ‘yong tubig baha, wala pang kuryente, nandito na po kami, nagbibisita, nagbibigay ng tulong,” she told the crowd, estimated by local organizers to be around 43,000.
“Bakit ko to sa inyo kine-kwento? Kine-kwento ko po ito sa inyo, dahil ito po ‘yong pinapangako namin ni Senator Kiko sa inyo: isang gobyernong tutugon kaagad sa pangangailangan niyo, isang gobyerno na hindi niyo na kailangan hanapin, isang gobyerno na hindi niyo na kailangang magmaka-awa na tutulungan kayo kasi oras na kailangan ninyo, nandyan kaagad kami,” she added, referring to her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
In November 2020 — while the pandemic was still underway — Typhoon Ulysses wreaked havoc over Metro Manila, bringing back memories of Typhoon Ondoy which ravaged the eastern parts of the capital region and nearby Rizal towns like Marikina, Cainta, San Mateo, and Rodriguez.
Among the first officials on the ground was Robredo, who visited families in evacuation centers who complained that no one rescued them when floodwaters were already rising. She also talked to children who lamented that they lost their learning modules used for distance learning during the immense flooding.
The Vice President’s visit came at a time when people were questioning who was in charge of rescue operations — and after she used her social media platforms to coordinate rescuers and people stranded on the roofs of their homes, just like in Cagayan Valley.
As rains fell down hard in Antipolo and several parts of Rizal almost the whole day, Robredo thanked people who stayed to participate in the rally, asking them to look after their health too after being drenched in the rain.
Also, she assured Rizal residents that they are monitoring the situation after receiving reports of flooding in some areas in Tanay.
“Alam niyo lahat ng kinamayan ko ngayon, basang-basa saka ang lalamig ng kamay. Sa totoo lang po nag-aalala ako sa inyo, kanina ko pa pinagdadasal na sana wala sa inyo’ng magkasakit, alam ko po marami sa inyo kaninang kanina pa nandito, at sa kalakasan ng ulan talagang hindi nagpatinag,” she said.
“Kanina po na umuulan paggising ko, tinignan ko na kaagad ang weather forecast, ang sabi po may papasok na bagyo. Sabi ko po ‘itanong na kung okay ba sa inyo na i-reset na lang kasi mababasa kayo’. Ang sagot po sa akin, ang Rizal, rain or shine, maraming, maraming, salamat,” she added.
Robredo won in Calabarzon during the 2016 vice presidential race, edging former senator Bongbong Marcos — who is also running for president — by over 108,000 votes. However, she lost in Rizal to Marcos by over 149,000 votes.
But Robredo assured Rizal residents this was not a factor in how she served the people of the province.
“No’ng 2016, hindi po ako nanalo dito sa Rizal. Pero, hindi na po importante ‘yon, kaya ko lang po sinabi na hindi ako nanalo kasi gusto kong ipakita sa inyo, na kahit po hindi ako nanalo dito sa Rizal, binuhusan po namin ng mga proyekto ang Rizal,” she said.
Currently, Robredo remains a far second to Marcos if surveys are to be believed. According to Pulse Asia, if elections were held from February 18 to 23, Marcos would be the runaway winner with 60 percent of the votes while Robredo only had 15 percent.
Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez however stressed that the said survey has not yet captured the massive ground support that Robredo got.
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