CEBU CITY, Philippines – Joining their counterparts in other areas of the country, Cebuano supporters of Vice President and opposition presidential bet Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan initiated activities to express support for the tandem on the first day of the campaign period for national candidates on Tuesday, February 8.
The Cebu People’s Campaign Assembly gathered hundreds of residents at the Plaza Independencia in this city, while supporters at the Sugbuanon for Leni-Kiko 2022 Volunteer Center in Fidel Ramos Street launched the “Cebu Hanapbuhay Para sa Lahat” job fair.
The event offered at least 200 jobs. Members of the Lawyers for Leni and Caregivers for Leni also offered free legal assistance and blood pressure checks.
Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) mayoral candidate Margot Osmeña, former Cebu City mayor Tommy Osmeña, and councilor bet Sisinio “Bebs” Andales joined the “Walk for Leni” campaign kickoff at the Barangay Pahina Central Sports Complex.
In November 2021, BOPK endorsed Robredo and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III for president and vice president, respectively.
Supporters also held caravans in Car-Car City, Bogo City, Toledo City, and the municipalities of Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Balamban, Argao, San Fernando, and Moalboal to name a few.
In Talisay City, Barangay Tangke fishermen held a fluvial parade in their “pink-themed” boats.
‘We need a leader that shines’
Meanwhile, a former supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte was one of the speakers at the Robredo-Pangilinan campaign here.
In the early months of 2016, communication student Latrell Fernandez pledged his support for presidential candidate and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. In an interview with Rappler, Fernandez recalled how he was swayed in 2016 by Duterte’s massive following as well as his charisma.
“Duterte’s messaging was disruptive, very different, and very appealing to all classes so I thought it was worth a try to give him a chance,” he said.
The pandemic, however, was a turning point for the former Duterte supporter, a 20-year-old University of San Jose-Recoletos student and aspiring student leader.
“Leni shined during this crisis, and it does seem that in a country like the Philippines where we are struck by disaster, we need a leader that shines and finds opportunity in challenges,” he said.
He has organized groups like GoLead and Aksyon during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, he works as a volunteer at the Sampaguita Suites Leni-Kiko HQ.
“Leni upheld transparency, accountability, and people empowerment. Even before her stint as VP, she upheld these values,” Fernandez said during the event in a mix of Cebuano and English.
In 2016, Robredo won in Cebu with over 800,000 votes, while rival Bongbong Marcos only got 307,000 votes.
As of September 2021, Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the country with over 3.2 million voters. – Rappler.com