Trike driver for Leni: The people are her currency in the campaign “Ang pera ni Ma’am Leni, nasa kamay ng bawat isang tao. Kami ang pera nya.”
Ronald Carigo had just gotten off from work when he saw on Facebook posts about the Caravan of Hope/People’s Campaign that launched the presidential and vice-presidential bids of Leni Robredo and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on October 23.
Carigo said that the caravan was today’s equivalent of the noise barrage of the people led by the martyred Senator Ninoy Aquino when Filipinos demanded change after years of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.
“Sabi [ko], sali ako rito. Naiyak ako. From dito sa trabaho, tumakbo kaagad ako sa bahay kasi yung motor ko gusto ko isali,” an emotional Carigo, a tricycle driver from Muntinlupa City, said on the BISErbisyo program of Vice President Leni Robredo on DZXL.
His voice cracked and he wiped his tears as he spoke with Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, and co-anchor, Ely Saludar on the online radio show.
That Saturday afternoon, Carigo rushed home to get his tricycle to join the caravan and saw people gearing up for the motorcade in Great Filinvest in Alabang. He didn’t have any campaign materials with him, Carigo said, so he asked for a tarpaulin and he was also given stickers. At home, he put the campaign materials on his tricycle, and quickly drove back to Filinvest. The caravan, however, had already left en route to Las Piñas City.
As he stood watching the tail-end of the convoy, a young couple saw him in his pink shirt and his tricycle adorned with the campaign materials. They told him what he was doing was right and shared that it’s been tough for them to talk to co-workers who have a different political persuasion.
“Siguro dahil sa tagal na rin ng pangyayari – 30 years na ang nakaraan – na yung mga bagong sibol, hindi nila naiintindihan yung mga naranasan kong paghihirap sa panahon ng mga Marcos,” Carigo said.
The couple asked if they could take his photo and upload it on social media. He consented, and soon after, his daughter, Yasheina, told him that his photo had by then, 700 views. She also posted a short video clip of him explaining why he wants Robredo to be the next President. It quickly became viral. And Carigo was just as quickly bashed online. But he remains unfazed.
“Doon sa basher, maraming salamat din sa mga sinasabi nyo na bayaran ako. Okay, wala akong magagawa kung iyan ang pananaw niyo. Pero may sarili akong pera, maliit man ito, tulong ko ito dahil para sa ating lahat ito,” he said, adding:
“Iyon ang pera ni Ma’am Leni. Ang pera ni Ma’am Leni, wala talaga sa banko, nasa kamay ng bawat isang tao. Pera nya, kami, kami ang pera nya. Kami yung magtutuloy para sa kanya.”
Carigo may have been left by the caravan that day, but he believes that Leni Robredo will never leave him behind.
Carigo said the Vice President literally traverses mountains to reach the poorest of the poor. He said he has never seen a candidate who always has those in the fringes of society in mind.
“Sa tuwing napapanood ko si Ma’am Leni, tuwang-tuwa ako dahil sabi ko parang feeling ko hihilahin ako nito, isasama ako. Walang maiiwan,” Carigo said.
He added: “Never akong nakakita na isang pulitiko [who] travelled… sa pamamagitan ng paa, sa pamamagitan ng tricycle… na ipakita sa maliliit na may halaga kayo.”
Carigo has faith in Robredo that she will implement the laws that will protect the welfare of the poor.
“Kahit basurero, kahit nagtitinda ng tinapa, kahit driver po kami ng tricycle, lahat po yan ay may ambag. Lahat po yan ay may pakinabang sa ating bansa. Kaya po dapat huwag nyo po silang isantabi. Kaming mahihirap kaya po nakikita namin si Ma’am Leni, hihilahin nila kami pataas,” Carigo said. (end)