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3 national artists endorse Robredo to fight ‘darkness’

/ 01:57 PM May 03, 2022
Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo joined youth volunteers in performing Bendian, a traditional dance of the Ibalois, at the “Takder Kordi, Ranniag Ti Namnama: Cordillera People’s Rally” held at the Melvin Jones Grandstand, Baguio City, Benguet, on Monday, May 2. With Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan at the people’s rally were National Artists Virgilio "Rio Alma" Almario (for Literature), Eric "Kidlat Tahimik" de Guia (for Film), and Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera (for the Visual Arts). Image from VP Leni Media Bureau

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan at the people’s rally with National Artists Virgilio “Rio Alma” Almario (for Literature), Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia (for Film), and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera (for the Visual Arts, not in picture) during the “Takder Kordi, Ranniag Ti Namnama: Cordillera People’s Rally” in Baguio City, Benguet. Image from VP Leni Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Three national artists have spoken out in Baguio City about the upcoming 2022 national elections, saying that they have decided to back Vice President Leni Robredo’s candidacy as her campaign provides light amid an impending “darkness.”

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National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik said before the 30,000-strong crowd in Baguio on Monday that the people must not be dissuaded by talks that another candidate has already won, because the people have an alternative candidate in Robredo.

According to Kidlat, the people must remain hopeful that the dark days of martial law will not return.

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“Ngayon, tayo, nagtitipon tayo ngayon dito. Let us not be intimidated. Huwag tayo masindak doon sa mga polls na predicting na babalik daw ang dark days ng Martial Law,” Kidlat said in his speech.

“Hindi ‘yan babalik, I’m sure, kasi meron tayong mga alternatibong talagang may lakas na ipapalabas sa atin. Let us also know, dito sa Cordilleras, hindi makapasok ang dilim ng kolonyalismo dahil sa tibay ng kultura ng ating Cordillerans,” he added.

He also stressed that the Filipino people can overcome any darkness today as they did throughout the course of history — from the Spanish occupation, the American invasion, up to the martial law regime.

“Let us remember in April 27th, 501st Anniversary ng Battle of Mactan. Noong si Lapu-Lapu, ‘yung katapangan niya ay natandaan natin […] Ayun, kahit dehado, lumalaban — kalaban nila ‘yung kadiliman ng mga conquistador,” Kidlat said.

“Noong April 9th, meron tayo ring Araw ng Kagitingan, kalaban rin ang kadiliman ng manlulupig na Hapon. And noong April 12 […] yun ang anibersaryo ng– sa kuweba ng pamithian, sinulat ni Andres Bonifacio doon sa dingding: ‘Viva La Independencia de Filipinas’. Doon nagtipon-tipon ang mga Katipunero, isang dosena lang sila noon pero kumalat ‘yung init ng himagsikan from there,” he added.

Kidlat said that at this time, the light that gives the people hope is Robredo and her slate.

“So, sa ngayong gabi, yes, ituloy natin ‘yung panata, tuloy sa liwanag, tuloy natin para tulungan natin si Leni liwanag, at si Kiko sa kaliwanagan ng bayan. Kaliwanagan ngayon, KaLENIwagan ngayon. Mabuhay, Adio,” he noted.

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Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan at the people’s rally with National Artists Virgilio "Rio Alma" Almario (for Literature), Eric "Kidlat Tahimik" de Guia (for Film), and Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera (for the Visual Arts, not in picture) during the “Takder Kordi, Ranniag Ti Namnama: Cordillera People’s Rally” in Baguio City, Benguet. Image from VP Leni Media Bureau

National Artists Virgilio “Rio Alma” Almario (for Literature), Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera (for the Visual Arts, not in picture) and Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia (for Film), during the “Takder Kordi, Ranniag Ti Namnama: Cordillera People’s Rally” in Baguio City, Benguet. Image from VP Leni Media Bureau

National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, more known as BenCab, also offered a short message of support for Robredo and Senator Francis Pangilinan.

“Hindi ako sanay na magsalita sa madla, pero ang masasabi ko lang […] Ang karapat-dapat na maging Pangulo ng Pilipinas ay si Leni Robredo, at Bise Presidente ay si Kiko Pangilinan. Wala nang iba,” he said.

Prior to the two artists’ speech, National Artist Virgilio Almario also reaffirmed support for the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem, saying that only the Vice President responded to their call to protect the Filipino culture.

Robredo’s campaign has seen a snowballing of support in recent weeks — from sectoral groups, local officials, priests, and artists like Almario, Kidlat, and Cabrera.  However, latest surveys from Pulse Asia showed that Robredo is still a far second to frontrunner and former senator Bongbong Marcos.

Robredo’s voter share was at 23 percent, while Marcos kept his 56 percent share since last March.

However, Robredo’s camp remains confident about their chances, saying that the momentum is still on their side.

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, Baguio City, BenCab, Benedicto Cabrera, Kidlat Tahimik, Leni Robredo, national artist, Rio Alma, Takder Kordi, Virgilio Almario
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