Malolos City—Vice President Leni Robredo and running-mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan on Saturday joined over a thousand priests and church leaders of the Diocese of Malolos at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Guiguinto town to pray the Rosary for a clean and honest election on May 9.
This was after around 10,000 Bulakeños were expected to flock the streets of Sta. Maria, Bulacan for the official visit of the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem there yesterday.
According to the local chapter of the Robredo People’s Council in Bulacan, they want to replicate the strong attendance put up by Cavite during the visit of the tandem there on Friday.
Robredo’s tour of Cavite province ended on a high note as the presidential aspirant drew her biggest campaign crowd yet in the Grand Rally organized by supporters at the General Trias Sports Park in Cavite.
An estimated 47,000 Caviteños—larger than the crowds which showed up for her rallies in her established bailiwicks in Naga and Iloilo—chanted “Hindi kami bayad!” and carried placards supporting the presidential aspirants’ platform of clean and competent governance.
Few local government officials have backed Robredo’s run for the presidency in Cavite, the second most vote-rich province in the country, with 2.3 million registered voters.
Seminarians welcomed the attendees with a rendition of the hymn “Liwanag ng Aming Puso,” followed by the prayer of the Holy Rosary mysteries led by Robredo, a representative of the victims of extrajudicial killings, Mother Angelica Alincomot, SDS, a seminarian, and the rector of the seminary.
“Quoting Padre Pio, we believe that ‘the Rosary is the weapon for these times,’” says Fr. Nap Baltazar, Parish Priest of Santa Rita de Cascia in Angat, Bulacan and event coordinator.
Robredo offered flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the congregation sang “Salve Regina.”
Pangilinan and the children from Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres Orphanage led the prayers for the 2022 National and Local Elections, and for the election of leaders who are committed to social justice and protection of the youth, respectively.
The event, dedicated to prayer for the election of national and local leaders who are known for their moral integrity, God-loving and pro-life conscience, competent and principled leadership, compassion for the poor and marginalized, and commitment to social justice, ended with the blessing of the congregation, and messages from the presidential and vice-presidential aspirants thanking the members of religious and lay communities.
In Cavite, Robredo told the crowd: “Ngayon pong gabi, pinapakita natin, ordinaryo lang tayong mga mamamayan pero pinapakita natin na pag tayo nagkaisa, napakalakas ng kapangyarihan natin.”
“At ito po, marami pong nagtatanong sa amin, hindi ka ba ba natatakot? Parati pong tanong ko, bakit naman ako matatakot, tingnan kayo? Bakit ako matatakot na andito kayo lahat kasama namin, nakikipaglaban?”
Despite the lack of support from local political leaders, Robredo’s People’s Campaign has taken up the slack and ensured the presidential aspirant’s presence in the province.
“Pag nakikita ko po kayo, kanina po pag ikot namin sa napakaraming lugar sa Cavite, napakarami niyong nagpapahayag ng suporta at pagmamahal. Ang sabi ko po sa sarili ko, hindi naman pala kami nag-iisa. Meron naman pala kaming kadamay,” Robredo said.
“‘Yung paniniwala natin na matapat na pamamahala, damay din pala kayo doon. ‘Yung paniniwala na ang pagbabago mangyayari lang pag ang gobyerno naging matapat, pareho din sa paniniwala niyo.”
Cavite 6th District Board Member Kerby Salazar, a good friend and supporter of Robredo, attributes the current support for Robredo to her independence from any political dynasty and a people’s campaign that is true to its name.
“A lot of people now identify ma’am as the symbol for hope,” said Salazar. “Kay Ma’am nila nakita na may pag-asa, na posible. Siguro, it helped that she did not came from a political dynasty. Feeling ko isa ‘yun sa malaki kasi pag nagha-house-to-house kami, isa ‘yun sa mga madalas ko marinig, na hindi siya political dynasty.”
“[A] hundred percent sure, we will win Cavite and we will win the whole country,” he added.
On the day she declared her candidacy, Robredo had asked Salazar whether Cavite would deliver for the 2022 elections.
Pointing at the cheering multitude at the rally, Salazar’s voice cracked as he announced “Ma’am narito ang Cavite, hindi ka iiwan, hindi ka pababayaan, at lagi kang ipaglalaban.”