2022 Philippine Elections

‘PINK LOVE’: Iloilo leaders reaffirm support for Robredo presidential bid

Joseph B.A. Marzan

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‘PINK LOVE’: Iloilo leaders reaffirm support for Robredo presidential bid

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas hosted a thanksgiving mass for VP Leni Robredo's campaign kick-off at the Molo Church on February 8, 2022. Arnold Almacen/Iloilo City Mayor's Office


Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas says 95% of barangay officials supporting his local Team Uswag slate, would also back Leni Robredo

ILOILO City, Philippines – Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. joined forces on Tuesday, February 8, to reiterate their endorsement of Vice President Leni Robredo for president elections, as the campaign season for national elective posts formally kicked off.

In a virtual press conference, Treñas said that Robredo was one of the leaders who stood out at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“There are a few leaders who stood out and have shown reassuring virtues in the fight against the pandemic. VP Leni Robredo is obviously one of them,” said the mayor.

Treñas said that even with limited resources, Robredo “was able to create a huge impact in the lives of many Filipinos through her promising COVID responses and initiatives.”

“The pandemic has revealed her true strength and she is the type of presidential candidate who has already walked the talk,” he added.

The mayor also said that should Robredo win the presidency, the city and province can expect the same level of support from her just as the Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino administrations had supported them in the past.

He cited projects including the Circumferential Road stretching from Jaro to Arevalo districts, the Iloilo International Airport, and radial roads which were built with national funds.

“My view is that if [Robredo] wins, she will not forget the city and province. Programs and projects will continue and the aspirations of the Ilonggos will push through for the people,” he said, adding that “development will continue here in our areas” similar to what heppene during the Arroyo and Aquino governments.

Defensor expressed the same sentiment, saying that through the Vice President’s COVID-19 response, hospitalizations and transmissions can be reduced.

“It is very important that we maximize home isolation, so as long as we prevent the over-burdening of our healthcare system, we can get over [the pandemic] easier. We would like to thank Vice President Robredo for our programs and all the help given to make this happen,” said the governor.

“In a larger sense, I am confident that a VP Leni presidency – she being an economist and a lawyer, and a fundamentally good person, she will provide the right direction for this country…. The fundamentals needed by the Philippines will come first, like food security. That is one very important thing that the country shall address and that VP Leni will surely address,” he added.

He also expressed confidence that the Vice President would be able to “pay back” the support of Ilonggos.

“If VP Leni will win as president, as governor I am confident that we will not get left behind. As Vice President – other Ilonggos may not know this – she was always here silently and working for the Ilonggos and brought all the help she can. I think that is an important advantage for us when she wins,” he said.

Both of them, however, admitted that in this election cycle, it would be impossible to deliver the votes of all Ilonggos to the Vice President.

But Treñas said that 95% of barangay officials in the city, who are supporting his local Team Uswag slate, would also back Robredo.

“Insofar as Iloilo City is concerned, all our barangay captains are supporting the candidacy of the Vice President. We cannot promise how much votes of the city will go to VP Leni inasmuch we cannot even promise our own votes for ourselves. Ultimately, it is going to be a decision made by our constituents when they go to the polls,” said the mayor.

Defensor expressed confidence that many provincial officials, including representatives and mayors, would come out and support the Vice president “in due time.”

“Our congressmen are from different parties but many of them are committed to VP Leni. Many mayors are also committed to help campaign but we will wait for them to make their own pronouncements in due time,” Defensor said.

The mayor and the governor joined activities to support Robredo as the campaign period for national positions began on Tuesday.

Treñas and his Team Uswag joined other sectoral groups backing Robredo at a special Mass at St. Anne’s Parish Church in Molo district, while Defensor attended a regular morning Mass at the Jaro Cathedral.

The Jaro Mass was also attended by Iloilo 3rd District Provincial Board member Jason Gonzales, who is also the director-general of the Liberal Party, and supporters and members of the Makabayan Coalition, which is backing the tandem of Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

Treñas and Defensor are among the first elected officials in the country to endorse Robredo.

Other Iloilo town mayors who have endorsed Robredo include Ronilo Caspe (Cabatuan), Raul Banias (Concepcion), Reynor Gonzales (Lambunao), Francis Amboy (Maasin), and Suzette Alquisada (Tigbauan).

Mayor Luigi Gorriceta of Pavia joined the crowd in welcoming Robredo in her December 2021 visit, and Jun-Jun Jaen of Leganes also appeared in an activity for the Vice President, but both have not clearly expressed their support for her.

Vice Governor Christine Garin was spotted wearing a large pink ribbon when Robredo visited the provincial capitol, but she too has been mum about who she will support. Her brother Richard is running for Miagao town mayor under Lakas-CMD, which is fielding the Marcos-Duterte tandem in the 2022 polls. – Rappler.com

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

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