Have you noticed something different lately with the social media posts of Vice President Leni Robredo’s supporters?
Team Leni Robredo’s (TLR) official Facebook page has been using the flex muscle emoji and while for some, this could just be a coincidence, the group admitted to using it to prepare for her possible 2022 presidential bid.
Former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., the Liberal Party’s vice president for internal affairs, posted a photo on his Twitter account of the chairs of the TLR Cavite chapter.
Baguilat said the Flex Mama Leni sign means “matapang na nanay (courageous mother).”
“VPL is tough. Her experience as a widow and single mom made her tough. ‘Yung pagbatikos n’ya laban sa pamumuno ngayon shows na matapang sya (Her criticism of the leadership now shows that she is courageous),” he said in a Twitter post.
The flex muscle emoji shows a strong bicep, and is the typical gesture of someone who won a fight. It represents physical strength or strength in any skill.
“Unfortunately, some people think leadership is being macho. ‘Yung magsalita e mabagsik, nagagalit. Mahilig humamon (They talk with fangs, anger. Loves to make challenges). But for VP Leni, s’ya lang ang consistent na nagsasabi ng totoo. Di takot bumatikos, noon hanggang ngayon (she’s the only consistent one who tells the truth. She’s not afraid to criticize, before and now). That is true toughness,” Baguilat said.
“So what does VPL represent? She doesn’t belong to a dynasty or is beholden to big economic interests. She has the savvy of being Jesse Robredo’s chief adviser and partner in politics. Idealistic and pragmatic. Strong private partnership. What else?” he added.
Jesse is the late husband of Robredo. He was a three-term Naga City mayor and former Interior secretary during the Aquino administration who died in a plane crash in 2012.
He was known for his tsinelas (slippers) leadership, believing that everyone, most especially those at the grassroots level of society, should take part in governance.
Although some comments on Twitter scoffed at the Flex Mama Leni sign, Baguilat maintained that they are testing the waters and are still open to changing the branding.
“Kanya kanyang branding din puede (Each person has own branding). Depends how you like to portray VP Leni. For me, smart, tough, pragmatic and unifying,” he said.
The TLR was launched in June, coinciding with Robredo’s nomination by opposition coalition 1Sambayan.
Its Facebook community page has more than 26,500 likes. It aims to organize volunteers and help them collaborate on different projects such as a community pantry, lugaw (porridge)-feeding programs, and other initiatives.
“If you want to help VPL and her programs and plans, you maybe also wish to join TLR (Team Leni Robredo). Be a digital ambassador or a digital warrior. Or if kabataan (the youth), join youth for Leni. Message for guidance,” Baguilat said.
Robredo has yet to confirm plans to run as president, saying only that she will be the one to announce it if she’s already decided.
She’s seen as the lone candidate who can unite the opposition with both the Liberal Party and 1Sambayan pushing for her to run as president.