2022 Philippine Elections

Rodriguez, Climaco say they’re clueless about RoSa campaign financiers

Froilan Gallardo
Rodriguez, Climaco say they’re clueless about RoSa campaign financiers

PINK AND GREEN. An elderly Lumad artist performs during a rally launching the 'RoSa' campaign in Cagayan de Oro on March 21. Allies of Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are pushing for an all-out women tandem.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

'I was just invited to speak. I do not know whose money was used for this,' says Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Who’s funding the Leni Robredo-Sara Duterte 2022 (RoSa) campaign?

T-shirts, green baseball caps, and an expensive outdoor sound system at a rally to launch the RoSa campaign in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, March 21, raised a question about who exactly was behind – and providing the funds – for the campaign to drop the running mates of Vice President Robredo and Mayor Duterte.

Robredo and Duterte are running under two warring tickets. The Vice President’s running mate is Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan while Duterte belongs to a coalition ticket that fielded the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the standard-bearer.

Representatives Joey Salceda of the 2nd District of Albay and Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco launched the campaign in Cagayan de Oro where they led a rally on Monday afternoon.

Supporters flocked to the rally in Divisoria as early as 3 pm but the crowd, estimated to be over 1,000 when it started at 5 pm, was dwarfed by the Robredo-Pangilinan rally in the city that drew an attendance of 10,000 people in February.

They were regaled by local artists and bands that performed on a stage with expensive sound equipment, which reportedly cost at least P200,000 to rent and set up.

STRANGE MIX. A group performs on stage during the rally launching the “RoSa” campaign in Cagayan de Oro on March 21. Allies of Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are pushing for an all-out women tandem for 2022. Photo by Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

Deputy Speaker Rodriguez said he had no idea who exactly was spending for the RoSa rally.

“I was just invited to speak. I do not know whose money was used for this,” he said.

Rodriguez and the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) declared their support for the presidential bid of Robredo and Duterte on Sunday, March 13.

Mayor Climaco said she was also clueless about who was footing the bill for the launch of the RoSa campaign in Cagayan de Oro.

Salceda, the lead convenor of the movement, told reporters that the money came from wealthy supporters of both candidates who liked the idea of a Robredo-Duterte tandem, and who want the two to lead the country in the next six years. He did not identify any of them.

“The money just came in from supporters who believed that these two women leaders are good for the country,” he said. “We have the resources, and that’s important.” – Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship