Marcos bailiwick ‘real challenge’ in campaign, Robredo admits

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Despite her improving survey numbers, Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo said the “real challenge” to her campaign remains to be northern Luzon, a known bailiwick of rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“There was an increase of 19% [in my ratings] in the span of two and half months. I hope it will improve to 30% after 3 months,” Robredo told reporters at the Silay airport here on Monday, February 15. 

“But Northern Luzon, that’s the real challenge but it is understandable,” she said.

Robredo was in the province for a meeting with farmers and fisherfolk in Kabankalan City. On Tuesday, February 16, her standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II and some senatorial candidates will join her for sorties around Negros Occidental.

In a chance interview at the Silay airport, Robredo was asked in which localities she is still weak. “The number one is northern Luzon. The surveys are very consistent.”

Northern Luzon comprises 3 regions: the Cordilleras, Cagayan Valley, and the Ilocos Region, where Marcos hails.

The latest Social Weather Stations survey, conducted February 5-7, shows that Marcos is now tied with Senator Francis Escudero for the top spot in the vice presidential race. Both are now at 26%, according to survey results released early Monday, February 15, in BusinessWorld.

Robredo was up 2 points, from 17% in January to 19% in February.

Robredo said her ratings are okay in the Visayas, some parts in Mindanao, and in Luzon, particularly in the southern part and Bicol, her home region. (READ: Do Bicolanos favor Robredo's VP bid?)

Robredo also said that time is a big challenge for her since the campaign period kicked off on February 9.

“I’m coming from a very low awareness rating. It would do me good if I have more time to go around,” she said.

She said she is not expecting but hoping to win. –