MANILA, Philippines – An unfazed Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday, March 14, that the group who painted over a mural by her supporters in Las Piñas should have already “learned their lesson” knowing that these types of acts only further “ignite” support for her presidential candidacy.
In a press briefing on Monday, Robredo responded to a report on Sunday, March 13, about a group of unknown individuals who painted over an unfinished mural by volunteer groups Youth for Leni-Las Piñeros and Las Piñeros for Leni – one of the latest in a number of incidents targeting campaign paraphernalia.
“They should have learned their lesson already, kasi ito yung nangyari sa Echague…. Parang ito pa ‘yung nag-i-ignite ng fire sa puso ng mga tao eh, na ‘yung ibang mga dating neutral, at ‘yung ibang mga silent, dahil sa mga ginagawang ganito ay lumalaban,” said Robredo.
(Because this is what happened in Echague… This is what ignites the fire in the hearts of people – those who used to be neutral and silent, because of these incidents, begin to fight.)
On February 17, the Isabela Para Kay Leni-Kiko Facebook page on shared photos and videos showing Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel using white paint to cover the mural that members of the Echague for Leni-Kiko volunteer group had made to promote the tandem in their town. This was part of the Comelec’s controversial “Oplan Baklas.”
“The more na nilalagyan ng mga balakid, the more na nati-trigger ‘yung mga tao…. Bakit nila papatulan ‘yung simpleng kontribusyon ng mga kabataan na makapag-ambag sa kampanya na private property naman?” she said. (The more they put obstructions, the more triggered people get… Why would they push back against a simple contribution of the youth to the campaign which was done on private property?)
“Kapag ginagawa nila ‘yun, lalo lang umiinit ‘yung puso ng mga supporters dahil gusto nilang i-prove na hindi ‘nyo dapat kami ganyanin (When they do that, it only makes supporters more determined to prove that they shouldn’t be messed with),” Robredo added.
The Las Piñas incident, just like the Echague paint-over, prompted statements of condemnation. Robredo’s supporters called the act harassment.
“Nakalulungkot isipin na may mga tao at kampo na hindi gumagalang sa karapatan sa pribadong pagmamay-ari, karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag, at sa batas pang-eleksyon,” said Las Piñeros for Leni. (It is saddening that there are people and camps who do not respect the rights of private property owners, freedom of expression, and election laws.)
Las Piñas has 291,074 registered voters for the 2022 polls. – Rappler.com