LA UNION, Philippines – At a glance, La Union is Marcos country, with posters of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte lining the national highway that cuts through most of the province’s towns.
It’s a picture of the so-called Solid North – the electoral stronghold that the dictator’s son holds in the northern Philippine provinces.
But on Tuesday, April 12, La Union locals and some from neighboring provinces cried “Awan iti Solid North” – “There is no Solid North” – as they attended a campaign rally for presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
Senatorial candidates Dick Gordon and Chel Diokno of Robredo’s Tropang Angat slate took the stage at the rally, which was also attended by fellow senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares.
When it was her turn to speak, Robredo said that despite losing the vote in La Union in the 2016 elections, she did not forget the province when she became Vice President.
She noted the Office of the Vice President’s relief operations in the province after Typhoons Ompong and Maring, and their provision of PPE sets and medical supplies to the province’s hospitals during the pandemic.
“Kaya ko po yan ngayon sinasabi dahil dapat ganun naman. Pagkatapos ng eleksyon, dapat tapos na ang pulitika. Pagkatapos ng eleksyon, trabaho na kaagad. Pagkatapos ng eleksyon, dapat wala nang kulay na tinitignan,” she said.
(I’m saying this because that’s how it should be. After the elections, there should be no politics. After elections, we should get to work. After elections, we should no longer see political color.)
She then encouraged her supporters to stay open to those who have different political beliefs.
“Ang tunay na pagkakaisa, nanggagaling sa pagmamahal sa bawat isa kahit iba ang paniniwala. Ang tunay na pagkakaisa ay hindi po pagkakaisa ng mga interes ng mga pulitiko. Ang tunay na pagkakaisa ay nanggagaling sa bawat isa sa atin,” she said.
(True unity comes from loving others, despite having different beliefs. True unity doesn’t come from the union of political interests. True unity comes from each of us.)
After her speech, Robredo read out campaign posters and took photos with attendees.
The rally closed out with performances by Ebe Dancel and Rivermaya. – Rappler.com