Robedo rallies supporters in Pangasinan, says 'harassment' only serves to spark their enthusiasm | Inquirer News
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Public transport pulled over? No problem.

Robedo rallies supporters in Pangasinan, says ‘harassment’ only serves to spark their enthusiasm

/ 11:48 PM April 08, 2022
Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo is a modern Princess Urduja in the production number prepared by Pangasinenses for Talindeg Pangasinan!: Pangasinan People’s Rally on Friday, April 8, at the CSI Stadia, Dagupan City. Supporters showcased the story of the legendary warrior Princess Urduja, believed to have hailed from the province, through an interpretative dance. (VP Leni Media Bureau)

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo is a modern Princess Urduja in the production number prepared by Pangasinenses for Talindeg Pangasinan: Pangasinan People’s Rally on Friday, April 8, at the CSI Stadia, Dagupan City. Supporters showcased the story of the legendary warrior Princess Urduja, believed to have hailed from the province, through an interpretative dance. (VP Leni Media Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Different incidents of harassment during campaign sorties had only lit a fire under her supporters, presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo said in Pangasinan on Friday.

Robredo, in an ambush interview, on Friday was asked about reports that public transportation like buses and jeepneys carrying supporters have been pulled over and stopped, as seen on videos spreading over social media.

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She did not confirm whether reports are true, but noted that it would not be the first time that her supporters were harassed.

“Hindi ito first time na nangyari. Hindi siya first time na nangyari na naha-harass ‘yung ating supporters. Hindi din first time nangyari na pinapahirapan lalo na ‘pag may rallies tayo,” Robredo told reporters in Dagupan City.

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“Pero ‘yung nakita natin kasi sa ibang mga lugar, noong ginawa ito lalong nanggigil ‘yung mga supporters. Lalong naging desiddo na ipakita ‘yung kanilang suporta,” she added.

Different videos spreading on social media showed Robredo supporters inside public transportation being stopped in Dagupan, with several organizers calling on private transport owners for help to ferry people into the venue of the Grand Rally.

INQUIRER.net has sought the side of transport officials, particularly those from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), which was allegedly behind the vehicle stoppages. None of the officials contacted have replied as of posting time.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, Robredo’s running mate for the upcoming elections, mentioned LTO in his speech in an apparent reference to the incident.

Celebrity manager, actor, and rally host Ogie Diaz also poked fun at LTO, saying that the alleged harassment only led to a bigger audience at the Dagupan Grand Rally — with 60,000 attendees filling the spaces as of 7:00 p.m.

“Ang lungkot ng LTO. Ang lungkot naman, namali sila, ‘mali ‘yong ginawa natin ba’t sila dumami, eh pinipigalan nga namin’.  Ganyan ang mga Pangasinense, walang pwedeng humarang sa amin,” Diaz said.

“Pinabibilib ako ng mga tiga Pangasinan, ang taas ng energy. Partida ‘yong karamihan dito, pinigilan sa Dagupan, pinigilan sa kung saang area para makarating dito, aba ‘nilakad namin ‘to’.  Ayaw niyo kaming pasakayin ah?  Ayaw niyong papuntahin ‘yong bus dito ah, pwes, maglalakad kami,” he added.

Robredo also thanked her supporters for coming despite the difficulties, saying that she was really concerned regarding how her supporters would be able to travel if the transportation methods were cut.

“Sino ba sa inyo ‘yong nawalan ng bus na sasakyan?  Ako po, nabalitaan ko kanina — kanina po galing akong Lingayen, nauna po ako dito sa Dagupan […] habang nando’n po ako nag-aalala po ako kasi sabi po sa akin may mga bus na hindi pinapa-biyahe.  Pero andito pa rin kayo,” Robredo said.

“Gustong sabihin, desididong-desidido kahit nahihirapan, andito pa din,” she added.

This is not the first time that Robredo’s supporters claimed that there were efforts to derail their participation in rallies.  In Cavite, several supporters accused the provincial government of scheduling road reblocking operations on the eve of Robredo’s rally to allegedly cause traffic.

In Robredo’s rally in Bacolod, several supporters blamed a bus transport company Vallacar Transit Inc. for supposedly canceling the trips at the last minute.  The company however clarified that they cannot just cut off trips as it would be against government regulations.

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, Dagupan, harassment, Land Transportation Office, Leni Robredo, Pangasinan, Presidential Race, Senator Francis Pangilinan
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