2022 Philippine Elections

‘To be on the right side of history,’ CDP leader says of support for Robredo

Froilan Gallardo, Herbie Gomez
‘To be on the right side of history,’ CDP leader says of support for Robredo

PCTURE-TAKING. Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez takes his photo with Vice President Leni Robredo during a meeting in his Cagayan de Oro home in October 2021.

Rufus Rodriguez Twitter account

Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez says his decision to support Vice President Leni Robredo's presidential bid has been 'affirmed and confirmed' during the just-held CDP convention in Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) on Sunday, March 13, declared its support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, vice presidential bet Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, and several senatorial candidates. 

“Today, I am proud to endorse and declare my support as well as that of my family’s and my party’s support to the presidential candidacy of VP Leni Robredo,” announced Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rufus Rodriguez, CDP president.

Rodriguez said the decision to support Robredo was “affirmed and confirmed” during the just-held CDP convention in Cagayan de Oro because his party wanted to be “on the right side of history.”

“She is the best choice for our country and our children moving forward,” Rodriguez said. “We will work hard to campaign for her.”

He told a news conference after the CPD national convention in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, that the party also decided to support the vice presidential bid of President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara.

“Mayor Sara Duterte is very qualified and she worked with integrity. She is also a Mindanaon who can help the people of Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.

Aside from supporting Robredo and Duterte, Rodriguez also announced the CDP’s support for reelectionist senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Richard Gordon, and Risa Hontiveros.

Other senatorial bets in the CDP list are former vice president Jejomar Binay, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former senator JV Ejercito, former Speaker Allan Cayetano, former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, and TV personality Raffy Tulfo.

The announcement of the strange mix of CDP choices was cheered by party officials and members around Rodriguez, but was also greeted with raised eyebrows.

Netizen Carl Encarnacion said he wondered why Rodriguez waited for Robredo’s momentum to build up before making the declaration of support.

“Any form of support is welcome but I’m still for the Leni-Kiko (Senator Francis Pangilinan) tandem,” Encarnacion said.

Rodriguez explained that it took time for him to declare his support for Robredo because he first had to wait for his party to make a decision.

Robredo met with Rodriguez when the Vice President paid him a visit in his family’s ancestral home in Barangay Nazareth last October 15.

Rodriguez’s wife Fenina and his daughter Regine Beatrice were among those who egged the deputy speaker to support Robredo.

Although he was rooting for Robredo, he said he could not make a declaration without the green light of the CDP.

Rodriguez and Robredo have worked together in the 16th Congress, and the deputy speaker said he was impressed by her diligence.

“She always came prepared, and is good in economics,” he said.

Another netizen Juliet Salcedo Cañadilla, said she respected the CDP decision but would still vote for presidential survey frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“It’s our right, and our choice,” Cañadilla said. – Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship, and Herbie Gomez is Rappler’s Mindanao bureau coordinator.

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