‘Davao for Leni’ launched; group says not all Dabawenyos are pro-Duterte

Facebook screenshot of the Davao for Leni Movement

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 November) — A Davao City-based movement is spearheading an online campaign to support presidential candidate Leni Robredo in the upcoming national elections.

Organizers of the Davao for Leni Movement said the five-month old advocacy aims to show that there is a portion of the city that does not support its hometown’s leaders.

Its Facebook page, Davao for Leni, has reached a following of 26,496 as of 10 p.m. on Tuesday, with 20,164 Likes and counting since its inception on June 16, 2021.

Opposition organizers 1Sambayan and Davao for Leni have aligned with the candidacy of independent candidate Maria Victoria “Mags” Maglana for the 1st congressional district of Davao City.

Maglana, who is running against incumbent 1st District Congressman Paolo Z. Duterte, the President’s eldest son, said she would be running under a goal-oriented platform, as an alternative to the long-time rule of the Dutertes in Davao City.

Maglana said she was looking forward to introducing herself to Davao City’s residents from the first district during the campaign period in platforms using the language of the locals.

Speaking at the Davao for Leni Movement launch, Maglana said her platform revolves around 5Gs: good governance, good quality of life, grassroots-oriented approach, glocal solutions to disasters and climate crisis, and genuine recovery of the economy.

“We have goals for the people and we will achieve those goals,” Maglana said.

Maglana said her view of Davao City’s politics comes from decades of witnessing the city’s growth. She said, for example, that there is no room for a Davao City that is supportive of a legacy of dictatorship, whether by the Marcos family or the Dutertes.
Meanwhile, lawyer Arvin Dexter Lopoz, a candidate for Vice Mayor in Montevista, Davao de Oro, also expressed his support as he stressed the need for a leadership that has “katakus ug kasingkasing” (competence and compassion).

At its Facebook page, the Davao for Leni Movement’s says #DiliTanangDabawenyoDDS. Hindi lahat ng Dabawenyo DDS. Lumaban ang Davao sa diktaduryang Marcos. Lalaban ulit kami sa Diktaduryang Duterte.” DDS stands for “Diehard Duterte Supporters). In English, it means “Not all Dabawenyos are DDS. Davao fought against the Marcos dictatorship. It will fight again against the Duterte dictatorship.”

According to the Facebook Page’s transparency report, the page is an offshoot of the Team Leni Robredo: Davao (TLR: Davao) volunteer page, which was established in June 2021. Along the way, it changed its name to Davao for Leni and has since gained a steady organic following in the Duterte family’s bailiwick of Davao City.

However, some of its followers are not strictly based in Davao. There are followers from different parts of the world, with the volunteer group linking up with overseas Filipino worker organizations.

The launch meeting, held via zoom and broadcast live on Facebook has since gained at least 74,000 views as of 10 p.m., with 2,300 shares, 3,600 comments and 5,500 reacts.

Translated to social media engagement rate, the launch reached an audience more than three times its page’s population.

In a MindaNews interview, a representative from Davao for Leni said there were even people asking for assistance from the Office of the Vice President via the Davao for Leni page.

“They think our page is an extension of the  Bayanihan E-Konsulta and OVP-Angat-Buhay.  We get all kinds of requests, from COVID Care Kits and COVID Care information at the height of the surge in Davao  to pagdala sa pasyente sa ospital (bringing patients to the hospital) to requests para sa disasters (for help in disasters). Some of our responses we publish, some of them not. It does not matter if those who request it are not Kakampinks. We just help,” an organizer told MindaNews.

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was expected to run for President but she initially opted to run for reelection as Mayor and later withdrew her candidacy to run for Vice President.

President Duterte’s long-time aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, elected Senator in 2019, withdrew his certificate of candidacy for Vice President after Sara filed hers on November 12 but filed his COC for President.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who initially agreed to run for Vice President and later declared he was retiring from politics, was, according to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on November 12, returning to the Commission on Elections to file his COC for Vice President on November 15, the last day for substitution of candidates,

But Duterte sent a lawyer to the Comelec on November 15 to file his COC for Senator.

President Duterte’s eldest son, Paolo, is seeking a second term as Representative of the 1st congressional district while his youngest son, Sebastian, was unopposed for Vice Mayor but withdrew his candidacy on November 9 to substitute for sister Sara in the mayoralty race. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)