Robredo wins support of Batangas local officials even without governor's backing

BAUAN, Batangas—With the governor endorsing another presidential candidate, past and current local officials of this province have moved instead to campaign for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo to ensure a repeat of her winning feat here.

Among those who stood up for Robredo was Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, who endorsed her candidacy during Robredo’s grand rally that gathered some 280,000 supporters, based on estimate of local organizers.

Echoing Batagueños’ maxim “Maubos na ang yaman, ‘wag lang ang yabang (We’d rather lose wealth than pride),” Abu said the mammoth crowd that showed up proved that their forces were not just for bragging.

"Ngayong gabing ito, hindi yabang ang naniniwala sa isang gobyernong tapat at sa isang gobyernong masasandigan (Tonight, it’s not bragging when we show faith in an honest and trustworthy government)," the lawmaker said.

Robredo was on her third time in this province since the campaign season kicked off. During her Saturday’s activity, she made several stops in various municipalities, such as in Nasugbu, Lemery, Taal, before gracing the people’s rally in Bauan at night.

In Lemery, Robredo was endorsed by Mayor Geraldine Ornales, who described the vice president as someone who cares for the people.

Other local officials who mobilized for Robredo as she returned to the province where she won in 2016 were the mayors of Bauan and Tingloy as well as former 5th District Rep. Tomas Apacible and representatives of AGAP and One Care partylists.

In March, Gov. Hermilando Mandanas endorsed the candidacy of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong”Marcos Jr. during his campaign rally in Balayan.

The governor also expressed confidence that Marcos Jr. would win this time in the province as Batanguenos joined Marcos in his call for unity.

But the throng of supporters who attended the Saturday night’s rally proved that Robredo still has a stronghold here.

"Dodoblehin namin (We will double the number of votes)," the crowd assured Robredo.

In 2019 vice presidential race, Robredo received some 513,000 votes from the province against Marcos Jr., with only around 260,000.