As the Philippine presidential election draws closer and closer, groups are getting together to support the candidate they feel must become the next president of the country.
Filipino-Canadians from all over British Columbia’s Lower Mainland gathered together at the King George Grill Hub in Surrey to gather support for current Vice President Leni Robredo who is running for the highest office of the land.
Robredo supporters formed and launched the group called Vancouver, BC 4 LENI 2022.
The launch was held on October 11, 2021, which coincided with Thanksgiving Day.
To learn more, Vancouver, BC 4 LENI 2022 has a Facebook page with the same name.
Robredo has picked Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, actress Sharon Cuneta’s husband, as her vice presidential candidate.
A human rights lawyer and political opponent of President Rodrigo Duterte, Robredo’s bid for presidency is “a liberation from the current situation” the Philippines is in. The organizers of the Surrey event all agree and support Robredo on her call for drastic changes in government.
Organized by Amado Mercado and Danilo Barrozo, the event was attended by Fil-Canadians from different organizations who agree that it is time for change and that Robredo is that person to do the job.
The group brought Robredo to Canada in 2018 in which she made an appeal for help in her various projects as the Duterte government snubbed her requests for funding for her various projects for the poor.
Speakers at the event on October 11 included Amado Mercado, Danny Barrozo, Danny Reyes, Emcee, Bert Parungao, Malou Perez Capucao, Bert Manzano, Amado Mercado III, Juan Honesto Dumalasa, Gary Manansala, Jorna Naipa Sison, and Arlyn Valenciano.
The event was emceed by Reyes. Valenciano opened the gathering with a prayer.
They all spoke of Robredo’s compassion and credibility, as well as her steadfastness in her faith, as important qualities that the presidency and Filipinos need immediately. Those in attendance pledged their support to Robredo’s campaign here and in the Philippines.
Filipinos are scheduled to cast their ballots on May 9, 2022.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, in an October 14 column with the Manila Times newspaper, wrote that Robredo is the “leader of the authentic opposition”.
Ranged against her are all the other presidential candidates who are directly or indirectly allied with current President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Lagman.
“Leni has exposed without fail the following ignominies of the Duterte administration: official corruption, derogation of human rights, surrender of Philippine sovereignty, irresponsible governance and lackluster response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Lagman noted.
Lagman pointed out that Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa as then director general of the Philippine National Police implemented Duterte’s bloody war against drugs. “He is the last-minute presidential candidate of the mainstream PDP-Laban whose presidential bid may be substituted by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President’s daughter whose filiation with Duterte is her ticket to victory or doom.”
Lagman also wrote that “except principally for Duterte’s subalterns and belated pseudo critics who are really Duterte allies, the multitude of Filipinos reject the perpetuation of Duterte’s “legacy” of failed promises, escalating corruption, ineffectual leadership and authoritarian policies”.
“The 2022 elections will record an opposition victory to usher in genuine change for the welfare, protection and salvation of the sovereign Filipino people,” according to Lagman.
Meanwhile, CNN-Philippines quoted retired University of the Philippines political science professor Temy Rivera saying that Robredo has a solid electoral base.
“Most of the voters of Leni in 2016 are unlikely to vote for a Marcos or Duterte,” Rivera pointed out in the report.
In a separate report, ABS-CBN quoted former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat saying that Robredo’s decision to run for president as an independent was “more tactical than anything else”.
Baguilat is a member the Liberal Party, and he is running for the Senate.
The Vice President is still with the Liberal Party but filed her certificate of candidacy as an independent to be “more inclusive,” said Baguilat.
“Maraming mga grupo (Many groups), her base, unaligned persons or non-partisan organizations who feel they really like to support VP Leni but they don’t want to be identified as liberal,” Baguilat said in the report.
Baguilat also commented on Robredo’s choice of the colour pink.
“The use of colors during elections is popular but what’s more important is what you represent. If Leni Robredo represents hope, she represents genuine change and if she feels pink is the color representation then we’re fine with it. The decision to run as independent was more tactical than anything else,” Baguilat said.
Launch of the Vancouver BC 4 Leni 2022 in Surrey, B.C. on Thanksgiving Day, October 11, 2021.