Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday kicked off her presidential campaign in her home province in Camarines Sur on the first day of the official 90-day campaign period.
She was greeted by her province mates as she passed by her supporters waving pink flags and balloons in Libmanan town.
She was accompanied by her running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and their senatorial bets—reelectionists Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima being represented by her lawyer Dino de Leon, ex-senator Antonio Trillanes IV, congressman Teddy Baguilat, lawyers Chel Diokno and Alex Lacson, labor leader Sonny Matula and guest candidate Senator Richard Gordon.
The Vice President’s daughters Aika, Tricia, and Jillian also joined the team.
The team’s grand rally kicked off at the Angat Buhay Village in Lupi, Camarines Sur to underscore the efforts of the Office of the Vice
President in developing a housing and resettlement project despite their measly budget.
“This is the very example of an honest government… one that reaches out and listens to the needs of the people, and funds go to the people’s needs,” Robredo said.
She said she chose to start her campaign and proclamation in Bicol since it is where she was born and raised.
“We are fighting for a kind of governance and leadership I have long practiced here in Bicol…one that is honest, not corrupt, with no infighting and no fraud. We have seen here in Libmanan that if an official is serving honestly, even with the meager funds, we can be able reach those who are most in need,” she said.
Robredo’s grand rally was to culminate in the afternoon at the Plaza Quezon in Naga City for the formal proclamation of candidates.
She would proceed to court voters in Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, and Albay on Wednesday seeking a “Solid Bicol” vote.
She called on her province mates to support Pangilinan and their senatorial lineup.
Pangilinan on Tuesday said that Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TRoPa) will prioritize socio-economic development powered by people and organizations from the grassroots.
“How do we uplift the lives of the poor? Let us lift those under,” Pangilinan told supporters hours before the grand proclamation rally.
Pangilinan said he has been championing the cause of improving the livelihood and condition of farmers and fisherfolk during his years as food security secretary and as a senator.
Among the landmark laws he authored is the Sagip Saka Act which permits national and local government agencies to buy directly from farmers and fisherfolk, bypassing middlemen, and at the same time saving government funds.
On Monday evening, Pangilinan joined a virtual interfaith prayer concert hosted by various faith-based organizations ahead of the campaign kickoff.
In his short dedication and prayer, Pangilinan vowed to offer the campaign for a more dignified life to the Filipino people.
The virtual interfaith prayer concert was attended by various interfaith groups, including representatives from the Catholic Church, the Christian communities, and other denominations.
Former Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Secretary General Clifford Sorita said he hopes for clean and honest elections.
Singers and artists such as Gary Valenciano, Kuh Ledesma, Ogie Alcasid, Nikki Valdes, Kean Cipriano, John Arcilla, and Jaime Rivera also graced the event, where they sang worship songs and offered short messages of support for the call to a clean and orderly elections.
In her opening salvo for the official campaign for the May 9 national elections, Robredo rallied the people to join her in changing the old and corrupted kind of politics that has frustrated generations of Filipinos and deprived them of having better lives.
“Until we change the old and rotten kind of politics until we give our countrymen inspiration and hope, nothing will really change,” Robredo said in Filipino.