VP Leni in Surigao: We are all the revolution

In the sea of homemade, mostly witty, placards, a particularly staid one stood out and caught the attention of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo at the people’s rally in Surigao City last Tuesday.

“Leni is the revolution,” it said.

Robredo begged to differ. “Hindi. Tayong lahat ‘yung revolution.”

Robredo’s presidential run is powered by volunteerism and grassroots organizing never before seen in the country’s long elections history. By sheer people’s mobilization, thousands and thousands join the campaign rallies for Robredo and her slate.

In Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, not even the rains deterred people from waiting to see Robredo in person.

The presidential candidate said she was always in Surigao del Norte to bring aid in the aftermath of disasters. On Tuesday, Robredo said she was glad to be back to see the province back on its feet, and this time, it was she who will be asking for the people’s help.

“Alam ko po kung gaano kagrabe ‘yung hirap na pinagdaanan niyo, at masaya po ako ngayong gabi dahil kahit papaano, mas mabuti buti na ‘yung sitwasyon kumpara noong December,” said Robredo at the Surigao City People’s Rally held at the Tavern Hotel Compound in Surigao City.

“Pero ngayon pong gabi, nandito kami para humingi na ng inyong tulong,” Robredo told the crowd. There were over 3,000 supporters in the audience, all of whom patiently braved the rain earlier in the afternoon to see and listen to Robredo.

Clad in a Filipiniana top after celebrating the 2022 National Women’s Month in a Women’s Summit at the Surigao del Norte Provincial Convention Center, Robredo headed straight to the people’s rally at the Tavern Hotel compound.

She also asked the people to help her and her slate fight disinformation, to ensure that the 2022 elections will be based on truths.

Robredo also gave the young people, who dominated the crowd, some homework: “’Yung assignment ninyong kabataan, ang una nating kukumbinsihin, ‘yung sarili nating mga pamilya, mga sarili nating kamag-anak, mga kaklase natin, mga kapitbahay natin.”

She told them that she believed that they would go out and cast their votes on May 9. According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), more than half of the 65.7 million voters are between the ages 18 and 41.

“For a very long time, maingay lang daw ‘yung kabataan pero pag dating ng botohan, hindi naman bumoboto. Papalitan po natin lahat ‘yan. Sisiguraduhin po natin na tayong kabataan, hindi lang mangungumbinsi pero siguraduhin natin na pagdating ng May 9, tayo ‘yung pinakaunang boboto,” Robredo said.

Robredo is hoping for a repeat of her win in Surigao del Norte in the 2016 vice-presidential race.

Since she won the vice presidency, Robredo has touched base with local government officials, the Mamanwa Tribe, the Urban Poor Association and Leaders of Badjao and Muslim communities, various sectors and agencies, engaging with them through dialogues and turning over rescue equipment, among other kinds of assistance. The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has, in fact, implemented a total of 43 projects in 16 LGUs in Surigao del Norte amounting to Php 11.1-million from 2017 to 2022.

In December last year, after Typhoon Odette pummeled the province, Robredo rushed to hard-hit Siargao Island to bring aid and work on rehabilitation efforts with local government officials. She also turned over shelter repair kits to the residents of Del Carmen town. [End]