Robredo: Develop strong civil society groups to demand more from gov’t
BACOLOD CITY — Former vice president Leni Robredo has stressed the need to develop strong civil society groups to demand more from the government.
“We have to act for us to achieve our dreams,” she said in her speech at the Paghimud-os Negros Inc. first general assembly on Tuesday, May 23, at the Acacia Hotel Bacolod grand pavilion in this city.
“Our dream for the whole country is that people will take it upon themselves to act so that the government will be forced to be transparent and accountable because that is what people demand from them,” she added.
If people come together instead of just complaining in their homes and small circles, Robredo said a lot could happen to bring about change.
Paghimud-os Negros is a civil society organization that started as an issue-based coalition in 2018. It was registered in January 2023 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Robredo hoped that Paghimud-os would be a platform for change in Negros Occidental. She thanked its members and chairman, former Negros Occidental governor Rafael Coscolluela, for his leadership.
She also thanked the Negrenses who helped her in the 2022 elections campaign.
“Our efforts did not go down the drain. We were able to achieve so much,” she said.
Robredo said when she filed her certificate of candidacy for the presidency, she felt it was something she had to do “but had no hope at all that I would be viable” because her survey numbers were very low.
“But we finished second with 28 percent or 15 million of the votes. We did not get the results we wanted, but that was a great achievement for all of us,” she said.
The presidential campaign, she said, was the happiest of all she had participated in.
“In a traditional campaign, the center of gravity is the candidate, but our campaign was the other way around – the center of gravity was the people,” she said.
The fight for change, she said, did not end at the polls’ culmination. Instead, Robredo said the fight continues in the hands of the people.
The 100 Paghimud-os Negros officers and members, who took their oaths before Robredo, pledged that as an organization, they would serve as a social conscience and an instrument for bringing about holistic social, economic, and political transformation.
They are also committed to bringing about regenerative development within their communities.
Robredo also attended on Tuesday afternoon a book-signing event for “Tayo ang Liwanag” at the Acacia Hotel Bacolod convention hall.
The coffee table book “Tayo ang Liwanag” features photos and stories of volunteerism and of those who supported Robredo’s presidential campaign in 2022.