‘We want Kiko’: Samareños looking for Pangilinan after absence from people’s rally

BORONGAN CITY—Vice President Leni Robredo and her entire slate went to this city in Eastern Samar, the province that gave her the vice presidency in 2016, for her first people’s rally by the beach, but her vice presidential running mate was noticeably absent that even his supporters tried to find him.

Vice President Leni Robredo and her entire slate at the Borongan grand rally. Noticeably absent is Robredo’s vice-presidential running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan.

In what was dubbed the “Pink Wave Ha Este” Eastern Samar People’s Rally, Robredo’s running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, did not show up at the event, an absence that is likely throughout the remaining 38 days of the campaign period for national candidates.

The senator attended the Team Leni-Kiko rallies in Palo and Ormoc, both in Leyte, and Naval, Biliran, earlier on Tuesday, March 29.

The grand rally was held at the beachfront along Baybay Boulevard in Borongan City, Eastern Samar, where Gov. Ben Evardone and 20 mayors of the province endorsed Robredo’s presidential bid and not Pangilinan’s candidacy.

The absence of Pangilinan became more noticeable when some young “kakampinks” looked for him and shouted, “We want Kiko! We want Kiko!” at Tuesday night’s rally.

There was no explanation why Pangilinan, who has been present in almost all of Robredo’s rallies, was not in Borongan City.

Robredo's two-day barnstorming here is, by far, the most consolidated display of local support by a region for Robredo, who has been securing endorsements from other political parties and local officials as well.

Most of Robredo’s latest string of endorsements came with a catch: they paired her up with presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

READ: Robredo stands by Pangilinan ‘until the very end’ amid ‘RoSa’ campaign

Evardone, a known ally of President Duterte and said that the Chief Executive gave his blessing to his endorsement of Robredo, was instrumental in bringing some 20 local executives in Eastern Samar to support the Vice President.

The RoSa (Robredo-Sara) movement has been gaining ground especially in Mindanao after it was spearheaded by congressmen Rufus Rodriguez and Joey Salceda and Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco.

So far, the movement was also endorsed by Misamis Oriental’s Team Unity and Dasmariñas Mayor Jenny Barzaga.