VP Leni draws hope from youth in Surigao del Sur, reminds them their time is now
The Bislig City People’s Rally in Surigao del Sur on Tuesday, March 8, was similar to recent assemblies for Vice President Leni Robredo in various parts of the country. It was dominated by the youth.
The youthfulness of the hundreds of supporters who headed over to the Bislig City Cultural and Sports Center was evident in their handmade placards containing declarations of support or witty names of groups backing the presidential aspirant.
And just like previous campaign sorties, Robredo engaged with the enthusiastic crowd as she read their placards, such as “Manifesting Leni sunbaenim”; “First time voters for Leni”; “Dili mi bayaran, periodt”; “Gobyernong tapat, glow up lahat”; “Anak ng BBM supporter for Leni”; “Leni muna bago landi”; “Nagpaa over nagbulsa”; and many other messages that drew chuckles from Robredo.
Robredo admitted she hadn’t known what kind of reception to expect in only her second visit to Bislig City. But she said the warm welcome she received reminded her of EDSA Revolution.
“Noong pa-graduate na po ako ng college, 1986 ‘yun, iyon ‘yung panahon ng People Power Revolution. Noong mga taon bago mag-People Power Revolution, ganito din ‘yung nakikita natin—mga kabataan na nagdedesisyon na nasa kamay nila ang kapangyarihan at nasa kamay nila ‘yung paghingi ng pagbabago sa pamamahala dito sa atin,” Robredo said.
“Kaya ngayon po, every time na nakikita ko ‘yung mga bata katulad niyo na sobrang sigasig, nabibigyan kami ng pag-asa.”
Her appeal to the youth 62 days before the elections: “Yung sigasig ba na pinapakita niyo ngayon, hanggang eleksyon kaya ang sigasig na ito?... Sana po hindi niyo maramdaman na hindi niyo pa panahon ngayon, ang panahon niyo sa susunod pa. Hindi po 'yun totoo. Ang panahon niyo ngayon na.”
Robredo recalled how the incessant bashing levelled against her was brought about by propaganda and disinformation that began in 2016, after she won the vice-presidential race. Even after the Supreme Court junked the poll protest against her, lies, fake news, and accusations of fraud continued to hound her as she went about her work as Vice President.
With the meager budget of the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP), Robredo started the Angat Buhay program to uplift the living conditions of the marginalized, many of them in Mindanao, including 107 projects in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
Robredo said during times of calamities such as earthquakes and typhoons, the OVP has always sent a team to Mindanao. Since December 2021, she has personally visited Siargao Island and Surigao del Norte three times to provide relief assistance and Shelter Repair Kits to the families severely affected by Typhoon Odette.
“Bakit ko po ito kinukuwento sa inyo? Kasi sinasabi po natin, "gobyernong tapat, angat buhay lahat". Naipakita po namin ito sa Office of the Vice President na kahit kaunti 'yung aming pera, dahil walang perang napupunta sa korapsyon, marami kaming natutulungan, she said.
For Robredo, the brand of honest governance she promises is not merely an aspiration, as she has already proven this over the course of her being a public servant.
“Pag merong pangako, hingian po natin ng resibo na noong wala pang eleksyon, ano ba 'yung ginawa nila para sa inyo?” she said.
Robredo’s visit to the region included a multi-sectoral assembly in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, as well as the celebration of National Women’s Month and a People’s Rally in Surigao City in Surigao del Norte.
On Wednesday, March 9, Robredo is scheduled to visit a community in Brgy. Danawan in Surigao del Norte that has benefited from the OVP’s Angat Buhay Sustainable Livelihood Training (AB SLT). She will also make stops in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur. [End]