Vice President Leni Robredo won with a little over 200,000 votes against main rival former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the 2016 vice-presidential race. Some would say Batangas almost single-handedly delivered that win since Robredo got 253,109 votes more than the former senator in the vote-rich province.
But on Saturday, April 30, some 280,000 kakampinks at the “Barako Para Kay Leni” in Bauan, Batangas promised Robredo that they will “double” her 2016 votes.
The figure was released by local organizers, who said this was according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Robredo took the time during her third visit to the province to thank the Batangueños for her previous win there.
“Kukunin ko rin yung pagkakataon magpasalamat sa inyo dahil nung ako’y nagkandidato sa vice president isa sa pinakamalaking dahilan kung bakit ako nanalo ay Batangas (I will take this opportunity to thank you because when I was a candidate as vice president, one of the biggest reasons why I won is Batangas),” she said.
“Napakalaki po ng botong nakuha ko dito sa inyo kaya maraming, maraming salamat (I got a lot of votes here so thank you very, very much),” the Vice President added.
The crowd, however, started chanting “dodoblehin namin (we will double it).”
“Ang tanong ko kanina, kaya ba natin ulitin ‘yun? Grabe ang promise dito dodoblehin daw. Kaya nyo ba ‘yun (My question earlier, can you do it again? Wow, the promise here is they will double. Can you do it)?,” she asked.
For the May 9 presidential elections, Batangas has some 1.8 million registered voters.
In 2016, Robredo got 514,608 votes in Batangas against Marcos’ 261,499.
But this could be a stark contrast as former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, now seeking a return to the Senate under Robredo’s ticket, said in his speech that the Vice President is still a runner-up in the Magdalo Party-conducted internal survey.
He did not say who was the frontrunner in the pre-election survey.
“Itong darating na linggo talaga po mahigpit ang labanan. Gitgitan po ito (This coming week, the fight will be very tight. This is close). This will be very close,” the Magdalo leader said.
But Robredo maintained she was glad she did not fail those who voted for her since she can look them straight in the eye six years later and know she’s done her best as vice president.
“Alam niyo po nung una ko pinirisinta ko yung sarili ko sa inyo, walang-wala pa po ang nakakilala sa akin at wala pa ako masyadong track record na ipapakita sa inyo kaya doble ang aking pasasalamat (You know, when I presented myself to you, no one knew me and I can’t present a lot of track record so I double my thanks to you),” she told the crowd.
“Ngayon po bumabalik ako, napakalakas na ng loob ko. Malakas na loob ko kasi matitingnan ko kayo mata sa mata, masasabi ko sa inyo hindi ko sinayang ‘yung tiwala na binigay ninyo sakin nung 2016 (Now, I am returning, I am confident. I am confident that I can look you eye to eye, I can tell you that I did not waste the trust you gave me in 2016),” Robredo added.
It was a family affair for Robredo and running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan since their families were in attendance.
Pangilinan’s wife, Sharon Cuneta, were with kids Frankie, Miel, and Miguel while Robredo’s daughters—Aika, Tricia, and Jillian—were also on stage.
Before the rally, the Leni-Kiko tandem met with Sen. Ralph Recto and wife Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos in their home in Lipa City.
Robredo said the mammoth crowd of some 280,000 in Bauan is one of her campaign’s biggest rallies, which have already seen as much as 400,000 kakampinks in Pasay and 220,000 in Laguna and Pampanga.
“Grabe ang Batangas. Talaga nagpapasikat ang Batangas. Pero diba kapag nasa tama naman, tama lang naman magyabang (Wow, Batangas. Batangas really wants to show off. But if you’re in the right, it’s okay to boast about it, right)?,” she asked.
“At ngayong gabi, talaga naman nagyabang ang Batangueño. Basta pagmamahal sa bayan, handang handa kayo lumaban (And tonight, the Batangueño really showed off. When it comes to love for country, you are very ready to fight),” Robredo added.