PHILIPPINE Vice President Leni Robredo’s momentum strikes like a flashing lightning with roaring thunder, gaining even more strength and velocity as she and her chosen candidate for Vice President Sen. Kiko Pangilinan weave through towns and cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with their caravans and the people’s rallies.
Indeed, this is a campaign riding on the wave of our kababayans’ yearning for the truth, for clean, honest government that works for them and they found their hope in Leni and Kiko. True to what Filipinos have been saying on social media, this is more than a campaign — it is a movement propelled by the sense of volunteerism and service inspired by the example of Robredo and Pangilinan.
The Leni-Kiko followers took it upon themselves to give everything they have to support the fight of Robredo and Pangilinan for #GobyernongTapat, volunteering their time, their talents, their own hard-earned money in the truest sense of the Filipino Bayanihan spirit to wake up and mobilize the silent majority wherever they go.
Every stop of the caravan offered the experience of sharing their collective goal for the Philippines and the Filipino people with a “Fiesta” vibe in it, with songs and dances of artists who have come to share their talents to the people in this movement for free, with chants and cheering, with the tender and funny moments of Leni reading the placards created by the people themselves expressing their support for Leni and Kiko, funny jokes and “hugot” emotional shout-out, including the call for hugs they long to get from a mother.
Lights and fireworks, banderitas, waving pink hearts all frame Leni and Kiko and their candidates for Senator on stage, as they deliver their vision, campaign promises, and platform to make these vision become their new reality.
There has been a feeling of “Olympics style” friendly competition among different towns and cities on how they would create their own “peoples’ Rally, but the truth is — each new town/city stands on the shoulders of past towns/cities to make the movement stronger. Other people describe it like the relay and the batton is passed from one to another until we reach the Finish Line.
The Leni-Kiko crowds sweep beyond capacity, attended by 40,000 to more than 70,000 people, breaking barriers in areas already marked as Marcos/Duterte territories, including those where other Presidential candidates come from — Bongbong’s “Solid North,” Isko Moreno’s Manila, Ping Lacson’s Cavite, and Pacquiao’s Gensan.
While the one-month delayed surveys still show a Bongbong Marcos lead, the people’s investing themselves in the Leni-Kiko movement reveal what numbers in survey would not show: voter enthusiasm for their candidates, rooted in trust in their leadership by example. These are breathing, thinking, feeling people whose spirits are roaring like Tigers, ready, willing and able to fight head on roadblocks along their way to victory.
THIS is what is scaring the Trapos who want to keep the status quo the most. Since the support for the Leni-Kiko campaign has reached a tipping point, these network of public officials have banded even more together and have launched even more attacks against Leni and Kiko, picking up from Dictators’ playbook. These questions beg some real answers for people to think about:
On cue, why did they bring out the concerted “communist” scare card, with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself red tagging, irresponsibly using the Office of the President for his claims.
In an interview with his Pastor Apollo Quiboloy — Duterte’s “spiritual adviser”/ Kingdom of Jesus Christ pastor who calls himself the anointed son of God/SMNI news media network chief acting as Duterte/Marcos propaganda tool and one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitive, Duterte said on SMNI that there might not be a clean and orderly election in May because he claimed to have received intelligence reports that the Leni campaign and the “Dilawan” have been working with the NPA/NDF to disrupt the elections.
This accusation was denied by the Leni campaign and the NPA/NDF. Where are the details, Mr. President? What are your proofs? Why are you using your bully pulpit to fabricate these lies for fear mongering? You know many deranged people have used this kind of accusations to put the law in their hands and kill people!
Some members of the PNP, presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson, and the supporters of Marcos and Duterte also used the red tagging card and their followers even produced malicious videos full of falsehoods and disinformation to connect Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan to the NPAs.
Why are political dynasties and Trapos like the Remullas of Cavite doubling down on malicious projection of their own dirty political tactics to the Robredo Campaign, downplaying the size of the crowd, and accusing their own constituents of corruption, alleging that they are in the rallies because they got paid by the Robredo campaign?
We have seen videos on social of these violations of the Omnibus Election Code on vote buying and hakot, in different places and they were all coming from the Marcos campaign, not from the Robredo movement!
Why did these Trapos even connive with their friends and cronies to cancel bus service to people attending the Leni rallies, even orchestrating to have road and bridge work at the time of the rally that caused traffic congestion? To deter people from attending the event?
Lo and behold, they learned that these supporters were on fire, and nothing could stop them. People walked to the venue while Leni rode and “angkas” ” a motorcycle to get to the rally on time. “Kung gusto, may paraan. Kung yaw, marrying dahilan” – like Bongbong and Sara declaring they would not join any Comelec-sponsored debates!
Why did Comelec print out 66M ballots or 98% of all ballots as people have been talking about on social media. These were printed in violation of Sec. 15 of RA 9369 and Sec. 187 of the Omnibus Election Code. These laws require presence of observers for transparency and accountability. Commissioner Marlon Casquejo disallowed the presence of observers citing Covid ( alert 2) as reason, but this is no excuse to follow the law!
With complaints from different sectors on this, the Senate under Imee Marcos who is Chair of the Committee on Electoral Peoples participation, held a hearing but no action was made to nullify the illegally printed ballots.
Why did Comelec sign the P353-M contract to transport ballots and election materials with F2 Logistics, owned by President Duterte’s Davao based favorite crony Dennis Uy?
Why did President Duterte appoint election lawyer George Garcia to be Comelec Commissioner when he was Bongbong Marcos’ lawyer during his electoral protest in his failed Vice Presidential bid in 2016?
Why are all these allowed to happen during the time when the people need to have faith and trust in the election system for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power to the next administration? How could they even perform their solemn duty to protect the integrity of the elections and honor the will of the Filipino people? What is driving them to desperately stop the Leni momentum?
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989. She was a news anchor, TV host and radio commentator and public service host for ABS- CBN and DZMM. She is now working on her advocacies independently, serving the Filipino audience using different media platforms. You may contact her through email at email@example.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos. Also on Twitter, Instagram: Gel Santos Relos