Despite non-endorsement from the influential Pinedas in Pampanga, local officials and residents have warmly welcomed Vice President and presidential bet Leni Robredo and her running-mate Senator Francis Pangilinan here.
The Leni-Kiko tandem paid a courtesy call to Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda and his mother Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda.
Many of the mayors, barangay chiefs, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales and ex-congresswoman Anna York Bondoc welcomed Robredo and Pangilinan.
Robredo said she and her team were welcomed by the Pinedas despite the fact they were not the candidates the Pinedas support.
In Pangasinan, 76,000 people gathered at a grand rally aptly called “Talindeg” – which means to make stand – to show their support for the presidential candidate.
Allegations of harassment of Robredo’s supporters cast a cloud on the festive campaign sortie, but the Vice President, who recently enjoyed a nine percent jump in voter preference in the recent Pulse Asia survey, remained undaunted.
Robredo said this is not the first time that this happened. However, despite the difficulties, supporters found ways to attend the rallies for Robredo.
Robredo received the support of Pangasinan’s political stalwarts led by former Speaker Jose de Venecia III and former Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia, with their son, 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia.
They were joined by four incumbent mayors, three vice mayors, one former mayor, three mayoral candidates, and municipal councilors from 10 cities.
As Bani Mayor Cothera Gwen Palafox-Yamamoto endorsed Robredo, the crowd cheered.
“Bakit ako nandito? Tumitindig ako para kay Ma’am Leni,” Yamamoto said. Delegations from the towns Sual, Alaminos, Agno, Infanta, and Mabini joined the Bani rally.
From Bani, Robredo proceed to Villasis, where she was joined onstage by Villasis Mayor Nato Abrenica and Urdaneta Vice Mayor aspirant Tet Perez-Naguiat.
Robredo lost in Pangasinan in the 2016 vice presidential race, but nevertheless poured projects and assistance to the province in keeping with her leadership philosophy that support is given where needed, instead of where it is politically expedient.
“Noong ako po nanalo na, naging Vice President ako ng lahat kahit na sa mga lugar na talong talo ako. At kaya ko po ‘yan sinasabi dahil pag ako po naging Pangulo, kahit po halos lahat dito naka Pink, ang pangako ko magiging Presidente ako ng lahat na kulay,” Robredo said.
Robredo also emphasized said that real unity is rooted in respect and good manners.
Robredo also thanked her supporters for their sacrifices, saying she knows that standing up for her is not a walk in the park.
For the still undecided with a month left before election day, Robredo has one message:
“Welcome po kayo sa amin. Bukas po ang aming mga puso para sa inyo. Dito po sa amin, punong-puno dito ng pag-asa. Masaya po dito sa amin dahil ang pinapairal dito, tunay na pagmamahal sa bayan,” Robredo said.