Robredo-Sara tandem is true unity of political rivals, group ‘KaLeSa’ claims
MANILA, Philippines — A group pushing for Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as tandem claimed that true unity can be found if these two candidates win in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
According to the group called KaLeSa — or Kay Leni-Sara — having the two candidates hold the two top elective posts would be an accurate representation of two opposing political spectrums in the country.
During a briefing on Thursday, incumbent Olongapo City Councilor Kaye Legazpi who is one of the panelists for the KaLeSa said that the group is composed of ordinary individuals, not high profile politicians.
“Ang KaLeSa ay short for ‘Kay Leni at Sara’ movement, at kami ay binubuo ng iba’t-ibang organisasyon, iba’t ibang indibidwal, mula sa iba’t ibang sektor, na nagbibigkis upang makamit at magsulong ng tunay na pagkakaisa. Makikita niyo naman sa ating panelists ngayon na mula kami sa iba-ibang sektor,” Legazpi said.
“And we are really here to find and to seek for genuine unity. At naniniwala tayo na nangangailangan ng KaLeSa tandem — Leni Robredo at Sara Duterte — upang masiguro ang pagbubukas ng pinto para sa pagkakaisa dahil nakita naman natin na meron tayong isang lider na nagpamalas ng galing at kalinga, at meron naman tayong isang lider na buo ang tapang,” she added.
Legazpi explained that while pushing for such a tandem may stir discussions, pushing for KaLeSa would be the start of a supposedly genuine unity.
“Ginagawa natin dahil gusto nating makamit ‘yong totoo, tunay, at positibong pagbabago, dahil alam natin na hindi tayo makaka-bangon ang ating bansa kung patuloy pa rin ang hidwaan at polarisasyon ng pulitika. I think the reason of going towards this movement is we all have different needs, we have all different views, but we share one same goal for all of us, and that is genuine unity,” she said.
“I think right now, syempre nakakarinig tayo from other parties like Ro-Sa, Robredo and Sara but basically Ro-Sa is led by politicians, or it appears to be, and KaLeSa is a people-led movement as we can see today panelists from different sectors, and this is something that we are proud,” she added.
Robredo, while running for president independently, is the chairperson emeritus of Liberal Party (LP). His running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, is LP’s president.
LP is a political party that has been attacked by Duterte-Carpio’s father, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. In 2016, the older Duterte ran and won against the LP stalwart, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
Duterte-Carpio on the other hand is the running mate of former senator Bongbong Marcos, which Robredo defeated in the 2016 vice presidential race. Robredo has also been a fierce critic of Marcos and the martial law regime of his father, late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos.
John Martinez, who is a part of a group of small entrepreneurs, said that the KaLeSa tandem is an experiment as to whether the country can be united amid a pandemic.
“Parang experiment din actually, so malakas ‘yong epekto nito sa ating bansa, sa hidwaan. Basically ang unang reason no’n, naapektuhan dito negosyante eh,” he said.
“Kasi kailangan talaga natin dito, susubukan natin dito magkaroon ng pagkakaisa,” he added.
The panelists did not mention what other message of unity they were referring to, but Duterte-Carpio’s running mate Marcos has made unity a central theme of their campaign, even branding their tandem as the “Uniteam.”
This is not the first time that people went out to declare support for Robredo and Duterte-Carpio. Just days after the start of the official campaign period, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said he is supporting her fellow Bicolano in Robredo.
However, he and other key politicians like Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez have picked Duterte-Carpio as their vice presidential bet.
Pangilinan meanwhile disagreed with such calls, saying that those who have been pairing Robredo with another vice presidential bet are only trying to steer the opposition in different directions.
“‘Yong ROSA, paliku-liko ‘yun eh. Harapan na nga natin babanggain itong pwersa na nais nating talunin tapos merong paliku-liko kung saan-saan dinadala,” he said after swearing in 157 new Liberal Party members in Cagayan de Oro City.
Robredo’s camp noted that such pairings, like the KaLeSa and the Le-Ti — or the Leni and Tito for Senate President Vicente Sotto III — are realities in a system where the president and vice president are elected separately.
Robredo meanwhile assured supporters that it has been clear that Pangilinan has, and will be her running mate.
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