Iloilo City mayor: VP Leni to get more votes in Iloilo than hometown

Published December 3, 2021, 1:59 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The mayor of this city predicts that Vice President Leni Robredo will garner more votes in the city and province of Iloilo in the May 2022 presidential elections than her home turf in Camarines Sur.

“With the welcome of VP Leni in Iloilo province and city, I predict that she will get more votes here compared to her hometown,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas.

Vice President Leni Robredo stops during a caravan to greet supporters in Iloilo City Friday, December 3. (Rone G. Rentoy/Manila Bulletin)

Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan arrived Friday, December 3. They were warmly welcomed by thousands of Ilonggos. They lined up along the highway from the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan town. Robredo and her entourage had a caravan that passed along major streets in the towns of Sta. Barbara and Pavia before making their way into Iloilo City.

“I have never in my political career since 1986 such energy, such love and such volunteerism as I have seen today. I am overwhelmed by the love and welcome by the Ilonggos for VP Leni,” added Treñas.

Iloilo is seen largely as a Robredo stronghold since the May 2016 elections. Robredo won the vice presidential race in Iloilo. She garnered 137,662 votes in Iloilo City and 573,829 votes in Iloilo province, which consists of 42 towns and a component city.

For the May 2022 presidential elections, key leaders including Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and Treñas have publicly threw their support to Robredo early on.

But aside from backing of the established political powers in the city and province of Iloilo, there is just the Ilonggo citizenry.

“For the first time, nakita ta nga ang tawo mismo gapang kampanya, ga volunteer, ga gasto para sa isa ka pulitko (For the first time, we see how the people themselves are campaigning, volunteering and spending for a politician),” said Rovic Lopez, a college student from Calinog town, Iloilo province.

“Kapoy na sila sa gobyerno nga incompetent, matakaw, butigon, bastos, kag trapo. Ang klase nga pag bag-o nga napangita sang tawo, nakita kay VP Leni (People are tired of a government that is incompetent, corrupt and engaged in traditional politics. The type of government that people want is seen in VP Leni),” Lopez added.