Tacloban City RoRo supporters make final push as campaign winds down

Jene-Anne Pangue

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Tacloban City RoRo supporters make final push as campaign winds down
With only a few days left in the official campaign period, supporters of the Liberal Party are hoping to paint Tacloban City yellow

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Supporters of the Roxas-Robredo tandem calling themselves “The Silent Majority” have made their presence felt. 

“At least, we can paint yellow here in Tacloban,” says Lenny Banez, a volunteer and housewife.

Supporters of the Liberal Party’s presidential bet Mar Roxas and vice presidential bet Leni Robredo gathered around the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez plaza on Friday, May 6, with only two days left in the official campaign period.

Lenny Banez, one of those who joined the group, said despite the criticism leveled against Roxas, she would still vote for him. Ang sabi nila gagawin nilang zero ang yellow people, zero si Mar but I don’t believe in that. There’s fear and doubt. Di ako naniniwala because during Yolanda, I worked with Mar. I volunteered to help,” said Banez.

(They said that they will make the yellow people zero, Mar is zero, but I don’t believe in that. There’s fear and doubt. I don’t believe because during Yolanda, I worked with Mar. I volunteered to help.) 

When asked about the many issues thrown to Roxas regarding his failure to deliver his duties after Yolanda, she said: “I think it’s a political thing. They were probably fed with the wrong information. There was no TV, may mga radio na okay pero mahirap ang signal.”

(There was no TV, there were radios that were okay, but had poor signal.)

SURVIVOR. Lenny Banez, a volunteer who worked with Mar Roxas after Yolanda, encourages voters to vote for Roxas and Robredo in Tacloban. Image courtesy Jene-Anne Pangue / Rappler

“I find him genuine, the true compassionate and the track record. I believe he is not corrupt. And with Mar Roxas as president, I see more economic growth,” she added.

Agenda matters most

For Paulina Nayra, another RoRo supporter, she believes that the campaign of Roxas and Robredo considers the agenda that matters to her most in terms of People Empowerment, Participation, Rural Development, Transparency and Accountability, and Human Rights.

She also shared how, in her previous encounter with him, Roxas’ remarks influenced her. Nayra recalled Roxas’ statement about our farmers when he said, “It is not enough that you provide them with seeds. Provide them with post-harvest facilities.”

“You know, my son stopped schooling. Tinanong ko siya kung ano gusto niya. Sabi niya, ‘I want to sew.’ So, I provided him everything; raw materials, tela. I would buy really good scissors for him whenever I travel. I provided him everything. He bloomed. He now has his own business. I see Mar in that point of view.”

(I asked him what he wanted to do. He said, ‘I want to sew’)

Nayra also believes that Roxas will provide everything for the people.

“But providing everything doesn’t mean being dependent. Providing everything includes inculcating to them the values to stand up on their own,” she added.

Catalino Bobon Jr., who works as a consultant in Tacloban, shared how he left work for the meantime just to show his support with the silent majority.

The campaign activity was organized by volunteers, including Banez and Nayra.

Others dissent

However, not all Taclobanons support Mar Roxas.

On social media, Facebook user Harlem Bajamonde said that support given to Mar Roxas means a big slap to his family, friends and the rest of the Yolanda survivors in Tacloban.

“Most of the donations my family received came from NGOs, other family members, and companies my sister and I worked for. DSWD donations had gone rotten in warehouses. And only then during the election season have the Yolanda funds been released,” he said. –

Jene-Anne Pangue is a Rappler Mover based in Tacloban City.


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Jene-Anne Pangue

Jene-Anne Pangue is a community and civic engagement specialist at MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm.