By Raymund Antonio
Rain is a shower of blessings.
With this in mind, the rain did not stop Bicolanos from joining the first proclamation rally held at Plaza Quezon in Naga City for the opposition’s eight-member senatorial slate.
The sizeable crowd stayed put in the venue despite the rain when Vice President Leni Robredo raised the hands of the “Otso Diretso” senate bets onstage.
“Blessing ‘yan! (That’s a blessing),” the Manila Bulletin heard some supporters exclaimed while they took photos of Robredo with their camera phones as she presented the opposition senatorial candidates.
Others just continued watching the program with their rain-soaked shoes and clothes. They never left.
On February 13, second day of the official campaign period for national candidates, the Otso Diretso bets faced an enthusiastic audience in Robredo’s bailiwick.
The Vice President has been campaigning actively for their Senate slate, appearing in a television ad and making sure to emphasize their clean track records and competence in her public speeches.
Otso Diretso bets are former senator Mar Roxas II, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, and ex-Quezon congressman Erin Tañada.
She personally endorsed them during their first proclamation rally to provide the much-needed political power for their candidacies in the upcoming May elections.
Robredo, who is also the chair of the once-ruling Liberal Party, said she was happy with the high turnout of Bicolanos who attended the Otso Diretso’s kickoff campaign.
The opposition candidates are banking on the endorsement of the Vice President and legacy of her late husband and interior secretary Jesse Robredo to boost their Senate bids.
“Iyong turnout ay nagpapakita na maraming nakikiisa sa ating paniniwala, maraming interesadong malaman kung sino iyong mga kandidato,” said Robredo.
(The turnout shows that many people are one with our beliefs, many are interested to know who are our candidates.)
“Sigurado ako, given the maturity ng electorate dito sa Naga, kapag nakilala nila iyong aming mga kandidato, hindi lang sila boboto kundi ikakampanya pa sila,” she added.
(I’m sure given the maturity of electorate here in Naga, once they know the candidates, they would not only vote for them, but they would also campaign for them.) #MatalinongBoto2019