MANILA — More than 15 urban poor groups in the country on Monday launched an umbrella organization called "Leni Urban Poor" to convince Vice President Leni Robredo to run for president in 2022.
"Sa karanasan natin, marami na po tayong napatunayan na si VP Leni ay tumutulong sa mga komunidad na nasa laylayan... Kaya sana po ang maralitang sector ay magkaisa na at isulong ang kanyang pagtakbo," said Alice Murphy of Urban Poor Associates.
(We have proven VP Leni really helps those in need. I hope the urban poor sector unites to convince her to run as president next year.)
The coalition dismissed Robredo’s consistently low survey placements, insisting that the real voice of the masses is being ignored by polling firms.
"Hindi po kami naniniwala sa survey… Kami ang unang-unang biktima sa mga nangyayari sa panahong ito… Malamang hindi kami naririnig pagdating sa survey, dahilan sa dino-doktor lamang ang survey," said Jonjon Elago of Ulap Confederation.
(We don't believe in surveys. We are the victims of these times, so definitely the surveys won't reflect our views.)
Urban group leaders vowed to gather funds for Robredo, even with "piso-piso" or loose change from members of the informal communities.
Cherry Capa of Solidarity of Oppressed Filipino People-Samahan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api (SOFP-DAMPA) believes Robredo can manage to raise a budget whatever meager funds she has to sustain a decent campaign.
"Hindi po ito usapin ngayon ng pera. Ito po ay usapin ng laban ng mga maralita na sobra nang inapi. Siya lang po ang kakampi namin... Marami pong kikilos para kay Leni... Piso-piso puwede naming gawin," Capa said.
(This is not about money. This is about our sector being subject of state abuse. Only VP Leni is on our side. We can contribute to her campaign kitty, even with our loose change.)
Jessica Amon of Community Organizers Multiversity also called on all urban poor families to turn down any form of bribery in exchange of their votes.
"Kaya tayo nagkakaisa-isa rito para ipakita na walang kahit na anong suhol na magpapabalik sa atin," she said.
(We are here uniting to show that no amount of bribery can buy our votes.)
Robredo has yet to announce with finality whether she would join the presidential race in 2022, but has repeatedly said she's open to it.
She has also met with several potential candidates for 2022 for "exploratory talks."
— Report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News