Thinking that they were already late in the game since they decided to run as the country’s top two officials in the 11th hour, presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan said they were overwhelmed by the support shown to them when they visited Batangas City on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Robredo said she did not expect local officials there to warmly welcome them in Batangas, where they are scheduled to meet with multisectoral groups and volunteer organizations.
“Completely ovewhelmed kami pero (We are completely overwhelmed but) even before pumunta kami nakikita kasi namin sa Facebook o pinapadala sa amin (we went here, we see on Facebook or it’s being sent to us),” she said in a media briefing.
“Kaya ngayon, nakita na namin sila in person sobrang overwhelmed kami dahil sa napakainit na pagtanggap. Hindi namin ito inaasahan kasi late na kami nagdecide. Iniisip namin baka committed na lahat (So now, we see them in person, we are super overwhelmed because of the warm welcome. We are not expecting this because we decided late. We were thinking that everyone is already committed),” she added.
The Vice President was with Pangilinan and their senatorial candidates, former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. and labor leader Sonny Matula.
Similar to their visits in other provinces, Robredo and Pangilinan or TRoPa were warmly welcomed by Batangueños who held a stationary caravan from Balagtas Exit of Star Toll up to along the Alangilan National Highway.
They were then welcomed by Batangas 5th District Rep. Marvey Marino, Mayor Beverly Dimacuha, and supporters during a meet and greet at the Plaza Mabini in Batangas City.
Robredo won as vice president in 2016 in Batangas province in a tight race with former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., although that was also when Senator Ralph Recto and Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto were still members of the once-ruling Liberal Party.
The Rectos are now supporting and endorsing Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with the senator promising to deliver one million votes from his home province.
Robredo said they didn’t think they’ll still have local support from the province like in the past.
“Pero ngayon nararamdaman namin, parang ‘yung pakiramdam nga namin mas desido pa ‘yung mga tao ngayon (But now, we’re feeling that the people are even more decided now),” she added.
Pangilinan himself shared that people are going out of their houses when they hear them approaching. Some of them are even flashing the “laban (fight)” sign popularized by democracy icon former President Corazon Aquino, the mother of the late former President Benigno Aquino III.
The senator said he has been to “a lot” of elections and campaigns, but seeing their supporters now is a different experience.
“Hindi ko nakita ito sa maraming eleksyon (I haven’t seen this in other elections),” Pangilinan added.
Aside from the meet-and-greet event, Robredo and Pangilinan also held a multisectoral group meeting in Brgy. Sampaga and the People’s Council Meeting with civil society and volunteer groups at the Batangas Provincial Auditorium at the Batangas Provincial Capitol, among others.