2022 Philippine Elections

Clan of Marcos Jr.’s wife join Leni-Kiko volunteer events in Bacolod, Iloilo

Joseph B.A. Marzan
Clan of Marcos Jr.’s wife join Leni-Kiko volunteer events in Bacolod, Iloilo

Members of the Ledesma and Araneta clans join the unity walk organized by Robredo supporters at the Capitol Lagoon in Bacolod City.

Clerence Belcina

These Ledesma and Araneta relatives 'stand up and speak up for those who are voiceless against tyranny, kleptocracy, rotten political dynasties, impunity, corruption, plunder, extra-judicial killings, and selfish political interests'

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Members of the Ledesma and Araneta clans in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Makati City turned out in droves for Vice President Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan on Saturday, April 30.

In Iloilo, supporters sponsored the morning mass at the Jaro Cathedral and afterwards held a unity walk in nearby thoroughfares within Jaro district, followed by a house-to-house campaign.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, himself a Ledesma, also showed up to the unity walk organized by supporters at the Capitol Lagoon in Bacolod City.

A “palugaw” and person-to-person events were also held in the City of Smiles for Public Utility Vehicle drivers and other passers-by, coupling Robredo’s signature porridge with interpersonal conversations heavily encouraged by their campaign.

Also present there were Betsy Ledesma-Coscolluela, wife of former governor Lito Coscolluela who is one of the key figures of the Robredo-Pangilinan campaign in Negros Island.

Those in Makati held their own unity walk at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village.

According to Felix Golez, one of the main organizers of the three-city event, around 500 people were estimated attending the activities in all 3 cities combined.

Why is this interesting? Liza Araneta-Marcos, wife of Robredo’s rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr., also identifies in belonging to these two clans. Her paternal grandfather is Manuel S. Araneta and her paternal grandmother is Rosario Ledesma.

Liza appears in the Araneta family tree as part of the eighth generation descendants of Don Jose de Araneta, a Basque from Spain who arrived in the Philippines and died in 1746 in Mindanao. She also has another connection to the region through her mother, Milagros Cacho.

Other members of the Araneta clan with ties to the Marcoses include Gregorio Araneta, husband of Ferdinand Jr.’s sister Irene, and Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Cecile Araneta-Marcos, wife of their late cousin Mariano II.

The “Ledesmas for Leni-Kiko” say that they are composed of Ledesma family members who “stand up and speak up for those who are voiceless against tyranny, kleptocracy, rotten political dynasties, impunity, corruption, plunder, extra-judicial killings, and selfish political interests.”

“The family philosophy of the Ledesmas is Non Sibi Sed Cunctis – not for oneself, but for all. True to their creed, the Ledesma family has been known over the centuries, tracing their ancestors to Jaro in the late 1700s, to be leaders in socio-civic, political, religious, business, and philanthropic arenas,” they said in a statement.

“At what is considered the fight of this generation, the family remains firm and steadfast in upholding altruistic values for nation-building – something they share with Leni and Kiko – the desire to serve the people first above all else,” they added. – Rappler.com

Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist and is a recipient of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.