2022 Philippine Elections

School in Cagayan town cancels activity to welcome Vice President Robredo

John Michael Mugas
School in Cagayan town cancels activity to welcome Vice President Robredo

LENI'S POINT. Presidential bet Vice President Leni Robredo hammers home a point during a town hall meeting at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City on Wednesday afternoon, March 9.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

The Baybayog National High School in Alcala town in Cagayan province scraps the ceremony to welcome Vice President Leni Robredo after netizens ask why it was considered 'official'

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte—The Baybayog National High School (BNHS) in Alcala town in Cagayan province cancelled a “welcome activity” for Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo set March 12 after it drew flak among netizens who tagged it as “electioneering.”

BNHS is located in Alcala where Robredo was set to hold a People’s Rally that would have been her initial steps into the so-called “Solid North,” the bailiwick of presidential race front runner and son of the dictator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

For Robredo’s scheduled visit in the town where she will be hosted by Alcala Mayor Tin Antonio, the school issued “parental consent” forms which asked the approval of the parents to allow their children to participate in the activity.

The activity was criticized on social media after a netizen posted a copy of the consent form, questioning why Robredo’s visit in the town on Saturday was considered as “official.”

BNHS principal Artemio Te explained in an interview with Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao on Thursday that the purpose of the consent forms was to let the parents know that the Vice President was visiting the town and to ask their approval to let their students exercise their “civic duty.”

Wala pong halong pulitika, ang purpose [of the activity] is ibigay namin ang tamang respeto sa ating pinakamataas na pinuno sa Pilipinas at parte ng ating civic duty,” Te said.

Te explained that for a welcome activity for Robredo, senior high school students were asked to wave to Robredo when her convoy passes by the school going to the Alcala municipal hall.

He said that students were not asked to join the People’s Rally which will be held at the town hall.

The school principal emphasized that nobody ordered them to come up with an activity to welcome Robredo. “Siyempre, kahit naman po siguro sa mga bahay natin, kung may bisita e kailangang i-welcome,” he said.

Antonio said in a statement on Facebook that Robredo’s visit in their town was considered as “official” because she was the “incumbent Vice President and the second highest official of the land.”

The mayor, who is a vocal Robredo supporter, said they were not aware that consent forms were distributed by the school.

She, however, lauded the efforts of BNHS in engaging their students and their parents and to instill in them a sense of “amity, hospitality, and citizenship.”

She said that parents are “free to decide” whether to allow their children who are students to go or not.

But Te said the school’s administration already decided to turn down the planned activity as there were no parents or guardians who consented to their children’s participation.

The DepEd had earlier prohibited electioneering and partisan political activity among its employees. – Rappler.com