MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan capped their final leg of the campaign in Central Luzon and Calabarzon in a grand rally in Cavite on Sunday, May 1.
Attended by 100,000 supporters based on the local organizers, the second people’s rally of Robredo in Cavite resealed the support of the Barzagas to her campaign. Cavite 4th District Representative Pidi Barzaga and wife, Dasmariñas Mayor Jenny Barzaga raised the hand of Robredo – but this time, they included Pangilinan.
Prior to this, in March, the older Barzagas already announced that they are supporting the lone female presidential bet. Only their son, Councilor Kiko Barzaga, is supporting the dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Aside from the Barzagas, Cavite local politicians, 1st District Representative Gerald “Boy Blue” Abaya and 3rd District Representative AA Advincula also raised the hands of Robredo and Pangilinan. Abaya and Advincula used to work with Robredo in the 16th Congress.
The stage of the Cavite people’s rally was decorated with butterflies and flowers, which matched their theme “Banyuhay” or “bagong anyo ng buhay” (new form of life). The butterfly decorations were not incidental because Dasmariñas City, where the rally was held, is known for its “Paro-paro Festival” (Butterfly Festival).
During the program, Pangilinan also received another endorsement from A-list actress Angel Locsin. According to Angel, she has been mentioning only Robredo in previous rallies.
“Nailapit ko na po sa inyo ang aking presidente. Ang hindi ko pa po nasasabi officially ay ang aking bise-presidente. Nakapag-usap po kami no’ng nakaraan (I already campaigned for my president. What I am yet to officially campaign for is my vice president. We’ve already talked last time),” Locsin said.
Locsin asked: “So may tanong po ako, sabayan ninyo po ako. Sino po ang presidente natin? (So I have a question, answer with me. Who’s our president?)” The crowd answered: “Leni Robredo.”
The Kapamilya actress then proceeded: Sino’ng bise-presidente? (Who’s the vice president?) The crowd replied Pangilinan’s name.
Sherwin Abdon, the rider who gave a ride to Robredo in Gen Trias during the first Cavite rally, joins Robredo on stage.— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) May 1, 2022
His wife Tintin is also here.
Robredo says the couple, who used to be Marcos Jr. supporters, had a change of heart, and are now campaigning for her. pic.twitter.com/WO9a1ml2Kh
Robredo’s return to Cavite reunited her with Sherwin Abdon, the motorcycle driver who gave her a ride in General Trias during their first Cavite rally. Sherwin’s wife, Tintin, was also present during the rally.
Back in Bulacan after Fernando’s endorsement
Before barnstorming the most vote-rich region, Calabarzon, Robredo first made her second visit to another vote-rich province, Bulacan. Her visit came more than a month after she secured the endorsement of reelectionist Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando.
During the second Bulacan people’s rally of the tandem on April 27, Pangilinan was not present.
While Robredo is campaigning in Bulacan, the vice presidential bet met their supporters in Malabon and Navotas City. According to Robredo, their simultaneous campaign activities in various places were part of their strategy since it’s now in the homestretch of the elections.
Based on the estimate of the local organizers, around 144,000 supporters showed up in Malolos City to lend their support for Robredo. In the rally, Vice Ganda made another surprise appearance – her second since endorsing Robredo.
WATCH: For the first time time since the campaign season, a drone show was held during Robredo’s people’s rally.— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) April 27, 2022
The drone show was held in honor of Robredo in Malolos City. pic.twitter.com/McGoe169Pn
Robredo supporters from Bulacan also dedicated a drone show, aside from grand fireworks display, for the presidential bet. It was the first time a drone show was done during the campaign sortie of the vice president.
Endorsements in Laguna
In Laguna, another province under Calabarzon, Robredo secured endorsements from two lawmakers during the Laguna people’s rally on April 29.
Term-limited Laguna 3rd District Representative Sol Aragones, who is running for governor, had endorsed her “sister” Robredo. Robredo and Aragones’ close ties were forged during the 16th Congress, when the two female lawmakers were still neophyte politicians.
Laguna 1st District Representative Dan Fernandez, who is part of the National Unity Party that endorsed Marcos Jr., also endorsed Robredo. Aside from the lawmakers, some local politicians in the province also showed support for Robredo.
They were: Laguna governor Joey Lina; former San Pedro mayor Calix Cataquiz; San Pablo City mayoralty candidate Vicente Amante; and former Rizal, Laguna Mayor Rolen Urriquia.
The Sumilao Farmers, whom Robredo helped as a human rights lawyer, also made an appearance in the Laguna people’s rally. The farmers walked all the way from Bukidnon to show their support for the vice president.
The province of Laguna also went big for Robredo and Pangilinan, as around 225,000 supporters have joined the Laguna rally of the tandem, according to local organizers.
Prior to Laguna, Robredo also returned to Quezon Province to meet her supporters.
Batangas went big for Robredo, Pangilinan
In Batangas, where Robredo won in the 2016 vice presidential election, a mammoth crowd of around 280,000 supporters welcomed her and running mate Pangilinan. In 2016, Robredo won in the province with over 500,000 votes, versus Marcos Jr.’s 260,000.
During the people’s rally on Saturday, April 30, Robredo supporters from the province gave the vice president four products, which are prominent in the province. The presidential bet were given a barong, balisong (a type of a knife), a firecracker, and a coffee plant.
Batangas 2nd District Representative Raneo Abu introduced Robredo during the rally. Although he did not explicitly endorse the presidential bet, he referred to Robredo as the “next president.”
Robredo also paid a visit to the Rectos and met Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto and husband Senator Ralph Recto in Lipa City. The meeting sparked endorsement rumors, but the Rectos already threw their support to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
In barnstorming Batangas, the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem also secured endorsements from the Church and some local officials. According to Robredo, they were endorsed by over 100 priests from the Archdiocese of Lipa.
During the tandem’s visit to Tuy town, Tuy Mayor Randy Afable and other town officials endorsed Robredo and Pangilinan. The town officials raised the hands of the tandem.
In Lemery, town Mayor Geraldine Ornales also endorsed the presidential bid of Robredo. – Rappler.com