Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo went to Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental on Tuesday, Feb. 22, to attend the “People’s Rally”, where she was welcomed by a palpable crowd.
In Gingoog City, people lined the streets to cheer for her as her festive motorcade passed by. She once stopped to greet a man in a wheelchair adorned with pink balloons as a young woman handed her a bouquet of roses.
She was accompanied by Cagayan De Oro City Mayor and Misamis Oriental gubernatorial candidate Oscar Moreno, the first local chief exec in Mindanao known to give his support for the presidential bet.
Robredo’s first campaign sortie in Mindanao also involved the Iligan-Lanao assembly in Rizal Park, Iligan City before the parade.
In her message at the Pahayahay sa Pantalon Complex, the presidential aspirant shared that she has maternal relatives who are from there.
The Vice President told the story of how she started her political career and how it made her believe in the power of the people.
“Noong nanalo po ako by a landslide, doon po parang bumalik 'yung paniniwala ko na 'yung tao pag binibigyan siyang pagkakataon makilala 'yung kaniyang mga bobotohan, ang ginagamit niya 'yung kaniyang isip at puso sa pagpipili (When I won by a landslide , that’s when my belief in people came back that if we give them the chance to know the candidates, they will use their brain and heart in choosing),” she said.
Her eventual run for the vice presidency is another party decision, just like her congressional run was pushed by the death of her husband, former Interior secretary Jesse Robredo.
She said no one knew her in 2016 since she was a newbie but she won because she worked hard, introduced herself, and went around the country.
As vice president, Robredo insisted she did her best, despite the lack of mandate and resources.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) was able to bring its flagship poverty alleviation program, Angat Buhay, to as far as Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur, and Lanao del Norte.
“Kahit po konti 'yung botong nakuha ko sa Mindanao noon, ang bulk ng proyekto namin nandito sa Mindanao dahil– dahil sa paniniwala na pagkatapos ng eleksyon, dapat tapos na 'yung politika (Even though I didn’t get many votes from Mindanao then, the bulk of our projects is in Mindanao because—because my belief is that after the elections, politics should end),” she added.
Now that she’s running for president, she faced the same things—lack of resources and machinery.
“Pero napakayaman po natin sa mga volunteers katulad ninyo. At 'yung mga volunteers po nakikita namin sobrang sigasig, sobrang committed, sobrang passionate sa ginagawa (We are very rich in volunteers like you. And our volunteers we can see are very hardworking, very committed, very passionate in what they are doing),” the Vice President said.
“Wala pong hinihinging kapalit, gumagastos ng sarili. Talagang inilalaan 'yung buong-buo dahil sa paniniwala na ang eleksyon na ito napakahalaga para sa ating lahat (They are not asking for anything in return, they are spending their own money. They are giving their all because they believe that these elections are very important to all of us),” she stressed.
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Robredo is set to meet with the Sumilao farmers, who she once represented as a volunteer lawyer.