Robredo says Mindanao to 'deliver winning votes' for her as in 2016

ILIGAN CITY — Vice President Leni Robredo does not think that Mindanao is a stronghold of his rival, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and remains confident the region will deliver for her rival as it did in 2016.

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo addresses the pink-clad crowd during a campaign sortie in Iligan City on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.

“I’ll very be candid about it. Pag tiningnan natin results noong 2016, malaki opportunities for us dito sa Mindanao (If we look at the results in 2016, we have big opportunities here in Mindanao),” she told reporters on the sidelines of her campaign rally here in the city’s Rizal Park.

Back in 2016, she argued that the region went to her even without prior relationship with the communities there.

Over the course of six years since she won as vice president, Robredo assured that her engagements with the Mindanao people are “very consistent.”

“It is not as if bumabalik kami dito dahil eleksyon...kung marami akong naipanalo dito in 2016 nang wala pa akong relationships nabubuo, lalo ngayon (we’re returning here because of the elections...if I won here in 2016 without building relationships yet, the more I have foundation now),” she said, adding that she won a lot of places in Mindanao.

During the 2016 vice-presidential race against Marcos, Robredo won in Northern Mindanao with more than 250,000 votes against her closest rival.

In the Lanao del Norte province, she and Marcos was neck-to-neck with the former senator getting 95,290 votes and Robredo with 92,304 votes.

Of the provinces she didn’t win in Mindanao, she only lost by a small margin.

It is not just her 2016 win that’s making her believe she has the chance to flip Mindanao despite Marcos running with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

“Kahit mahirap yung political landscape ngayon dahil hindi ako admin candidate...nakikita natin yun gumagalaw dito ito yung private citizens, mga advocacy groups, mga civil society na nakatrabaho natin (Even if the political landscape here is difficult because I am not an admin candidate...we can see the works of private citizens, advocacy groups, and civil society we worked with) over the past six years,” Robredo said.

The lone female presidential candidate believes her campaign is on track because just like in 2016, the ground shifted by late March to April.

She added that she can see the “parallelisms” this year and in 2016 when her win “comes from behind.”

“Ngayon, mukha ganun iyong nangyayari kasi meron ngayon (Now, it looks like that will happen because we have) opportunities for us na wala nun 2016 (that weren’t there in 2016),” Robredo said.

“So, sa akin (for me), all things considered, very hopeful tayo kasi iyong klase ng reception na nakukuha natin ngayon (because the kind of reception that we are getting now) is unlike any other na pinagdaanan namin (that we went through),” the Vice President added.

Even when she was an administration candidate, the people were not as invested like now, insisting that the activities by sectors and volunteers on the ground are “not solicited.”

And while she isn’t expecting local officials to endorse her candidacy because of the political climate, she appreciates that many of them may be “quietly supporting” the same advocacies.

The Vice President was also grateful that they are letting the people choose.

In her visit to Iligan City, she paid a courtesy call to Catholic Bishop Jose Rapadas III and other members of the religious community.

She was then welcomed by a sea of pink-clad supporters waving pink flags and holding up makeshift posters at the Rizal Park.

Former Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz gave remarks while House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares were also seen during the campaign rally.