Former Ifugao representative and now senatorial aspirant Teddy Baguilat Jr. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, defended Vice President Leni Robredo’s choice of changing her political color—from yellow to pink—saying this was done tactically to cover all their bases.
Robredo is running as an independent candidate but remains the chairperson of the Liberal Party (LP). She also changed her political color from LP’s traditional yellow to pink, which her supporters have initiated a day before she announced her 2022 presidential plans.
Baguilat said this gives them “the best of both worlds” since Robredo can represent both LP and other politicians who do not want to be labeled as liberals.
“With the decision of Ma’am to file (as) an independent. That was good, di ba (right)? Second, we have to talk to her base, base who has questions. (Did) Ma’am (leave) the Liberal Party? By choosing Senator Francis Pangilinan, who is the party president, that also solidifies and all perceptions or doubts from our party base,” he explained on ANC.
“It is a good decision. You reel in those people who want to help her without being identified as liberals. At the same time, by taking in Senator Pangilinan, you consolidate the base,” he added.
His remarks came after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Aksyon Demokratiko chairman for National Capital Region Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice, a member of the LP for 18 years, questioned Robredo’s leadership.
Moreno said her running as an independent signifies that she has lost control of her own party while Erice said the opposition is bordering on “intellectual dishonesty” by holding unification talks while Robredo herself is entertaining the possibility of running as president.
But Baguilat stressed that the decision “was more tactical than anything else” because she is still the chairperson of LP while other presidential candidates have simply switched to a different party.
Weeks before the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC), Moreno himself left the National Unity Party (NUP) to join Aksyon Demokratiko (AD), the party founded by the late former Senator Raul Roco.
“She is a liberal. She is still our chairperson. She hasn’t left the party but she filed as an independent. As I’ve said, it’s more tactical than anything else because right now, ‘yung mga (the) politicians who belong to other parties, who like her convictions, want to support her, are talking to us. It makes them more comfortable now (that) she is an independent,” Baguilat said.
The former lawmaker dismissed critics of Robredo’s use of the color pink, which is a color associated with breast cancer awareness.
Personally, Baguilat said he likes the color pink, but what’s more important is what the color represents.
“If Leni Robredo represents hope for a lot of people, if she represents genuine change and if she feels pink is the color representation, then we are fine with it,” he added.
President Duterte, his allies, and supporters have used the term “dilawan (yellow)” and “yellowtard” derogatorily against the LP and administration critics as a whole.
Baguilat said that despite the “dilawan” tag, which has since became a hindrance in the recruitment of party members, Robredo stood by LP because “She still believes in our core values of democracy and human rights.”