'Fight worth fighting for': Robredo grateful for support in Duterte country

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2022 07:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2022 09:45 PM

 Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo greets supporters at the Davao del Sur Coliseum for the Kalinaw Dabaw: Davao Region People's Rally on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (VP Leni Robredo Media handout)
Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo greets supporters at the Davao del Sur Coliseum for the Kalinaw Dabaw: Davao Region People's Rally on Thursday, March 24, 2022. VP Leni Robredo Media handout


DAVAO - Vice President Leni Robredo was welcomed by a crowd of supporters at the Davao Del Sur Coliseum Thursday morning for a people's rally in support for her presidential bid in May. 

When Robredo arrived at the venue, she said she did not expect to be greeted with a large crowd, which according to organizers exceeded the venue's 5,000-capacity.

"Kanina, may binasa akong placard, 'Dating nangba-bash,.' Ako, tingin ko, ganoon lang naman, kasi akala nila masamang tao tayo," Robredo told the crowd.

(I read a placard earlier which said, "I used to bash you." I think bashing is borne from misconceptions about us.)

Since 2016, Robredo, a staunch critic of Davaoeño President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs, has been bashed by the chief executive's supporters. She has also been the subject of fake news and other forms of misinformation.

Nonetheless, she remembered the small but undeniable support she got from Davaoeños when she declared her candidacy for the country's top post. 

"'Di ba, kaka-file ko pa lang, natutuwa akong nakikita ko sa Davao City, meron pa ilan-ilan na nagpi-Pink Wednesdays, nagsusuot ng pink," she told the crowd. 

(I had just filed my candidacy then, yet I saw a few people in Davao City wearing pink, taking part in Pink Wednesdays, which made me happy.)

"Nakita ko din nagkaroon ng parang motorcade. Nakita ko din, meron iba nagpapalugaw. Totally unexpected dahil Davao ito," she added. 

(There were motorcades, and people giving out free rice porridge. These were totally unexpected because this is Davao.)

Robredo lost in Davao Del Sur during the 2016 vice presidential race, earning only 6.61 percent of the province's 1.44 million votes, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

"[I feel] humbled and grateful. Lalo kaninang umaga sa Digos, hindi namin inaasahan na ganung klaseng suporta," Robredo said later at the Provincial Capitol of Davao Del Norte.

(We did not except such a great show of support in Digos.)

Robredo only got 6,467 votes in Digos in 2016, based on the partial unofficial results, as of May 18 of that year.

"Laging paalala sa amin na hindi kami nag-iisa sa laban and this fight is really worth fighting for," she said Thursday.

(It's a reminder that we are not alone, and this fight is worth fighting for.)

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo greets supporters at the Davao del Sur Coliseum for the Kalinaw Dabaw: Davao Region People's Rally on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (VP Leni Robredo Media handout
Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo greets supporters at the Davao del Sur Coliseum for the Kalinaw Dabaw: Davao Region People's Rally on Thursday, March 24, 2022. VP Leni Robredo Media handout

Robredo assured the crowd that if she gets elected as president, rivalries during the campaign season will be forgotten.

"Pagkatapos ng eleksyon, wala nang mga kulay-kulay, wala nang parti-partido. Ang dapat inaasikaso na namin, pangangailangan ng taumbayan," she said. 

(After the elections, we will forget about political rivalries. We should be addressing the needs of all Filipinos.)

Robredo also made this promise when she toured Nueva Ecija, where she also lost the vice presidency to Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. in 2016. Marcos is among Robredo's rivals in this year's presidential race.

It was during her visit to Davao del Norte during the day that Partido Reporma's support for her was announced by the party's president, Pantaleon Alvarez, the province's 1st Dist. Representative in Congress, and no longer for Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Prior to the Partido Reporma's declaration of support for Robredo, Lacson quit the party and said he will continue on with his presidential bid as an independent candidate.

 

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