2022 Philippine Elections

Cebu City: Osmeña-led BOPK endorses Robredo for president

John Sitchon

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Cebu City: Osmeña-led BOPK endorses Robredo for president

CEBU ELECTION. BOPK mayoral aspirant Margot Osmeña and husband Tommy Osmeña.

John Sitchon/Rappler file photo

(1st UPDATE) Margot Osmeña says the party 'likes leaders who listen and respond'

“VP Leni is BOPK’s (Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan) choice.”

Cebu City mayoral aspirant and BOPK standard-bearer Margot Osmeña confirmed the party’s endorsement to Rappler in a text message on Tuesday, November 23.

“Why Leni? BOPK likes leaders who listen and respond,” she said.

Cebu City: Osmeña-led BOPK endorses Robredo for president

Osmeña explained that prior to this, they had requested Robredo to petition the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the creation of special precincts for 100,000 call center agents who work in Cebu City.

BOPK is the local Cebu City party founded by Margot’s husband, former mayor Tommy Osmeña, in 1987.

“Presently they can’t vote because of their irregular working hours and commuting problems to go to their respective precincts,” Osmeña said.

“We ask that Cebu City be the pilot area as 90% are confined to one area,” she added.

While that was Osmeña’s explanation for this specific endorsement, this is not the first time they supported Robredo. 

In 2016, then-mayor Tommy Osmeña supported the candidacies of former interior secretary Mar Roxas and Robredo for president and vice president, respectively.

At the time, Robredo ran under the ruling Liberal Party, which gave her an advantage in Cebu.

In the 2016, 90% of Cebu’s local chief executives spread across the 44 municipalities and six cities belonged to the then-ruling Liberal Party.

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In 2016, Robredo won against rival Bongbong Marcos with more than 800,000 votes for the vice-presidential seat. Despite this, Cebuanos still voted overwhelmingly for President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 polls.

But now, most local chiefs belong to the ruling PDP-Laban party and support the administration of Duterte.

Tommy, a friend of the Vice President’s late husband Jesse Robredo, also helped her 2013 campaign for 3rd District representative of Camarines Sur.

In 2016, the Vice President then swore in Tommy and BOPK Cebu City Councilors after they won their election.     

Osmeña is the second local politician to openly support Robredo so far in Cebu. Cebu Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, who remains with the LP, endorsed Robredo in early October.

The Robredo camp thanks BOPK for the endorsement.

“We are grateful for the trust and support from BOPK and its leaders,” Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez told Rappler in a text message.

“We support their call to pilot special precincts for call center workers whose working hours make it more difficult for them to exercise their right to vote. We look forward to working with them on this issue, and on other initiatives that will be to the benefit of the people of Cebu, and of all Filipinos,” he added. 

On November 12, Robredo made a trip to vote-rich Cebu province, to meet with grassroots groups and local supporters.

Robredo said that while she recognizes the role Cebuanos played in electing her vice president, she would still work hard to earn her votes in Cebu in 2022.

As of September 2021, Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the country with over 3.2 million voters. – Rappler.com

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