DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 October) – Some shouted “Duterte mi” (We are for Duterte) or gave them a thumbs down as the “car mob” (caravan mobilization) of supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo passed on Saturday morning, but in other parts of the city, residents waved at them and flashed the “L” sign for Leni or Laban (fight).
Wearing mostly pink shirts and pink face masks, Robredo’s supporters in some 50 cars and motorcycles, moved around this city ruled by President Rodrigo Duterte as mayor for 22 years and now ruled by his children, to join the nationwide caravan expressing support for Robredo’s bid for the Presidencyand her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, in the 2022 national elections.
“Not all people in Davao City are DDS supporters,” lawyer Romeo Cabarde, Jr. said, referring to the Diehard Duterte Supporters.
A participant in the “car mob” said that as they went around the city’s streets in their vehicles festooned with pink balloons and ribbons, and tarpaulins that read “Davao Para Kay Leni” and “Honesty, Integrity, Rule of Law, Leni Robredo Para sa 2022,” many were “surprised to see there are groups in the city opposing Duterte.”
After gathering briefly at the Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue, Robredo’s supporters broke into several groups to go around the city’s main streets before converging at a parking lot of a mall here for a short solidarity activity with those from other parts of the country.
Pablo Reyes, one of the organizers of “Mindanaoans for Leni” in this city, noted that those who joined the “car mob” which includes lawyers, doctors, businessmen, youth and labor leaders, wanted to express their support to the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem ahead of the campaign season.
“This is not yet campaigning. We just wanted to show our solidarity with VP Leni,” he said.
Reyes said the conduct of the “car mob” was agreed upon just two days ago “during a spontaneous discussion” among the circle of Robredo’s supporters in the city.
Robredo and Pangilinan’s supporters were clad mostly in pink, their vehicles tied with pink balloons and tarpaulins that read “Davao Para Kay Leni” and “Honesty, Integrity, Rule of Law, Leni Robredo Para sa 2022,” among others.
Reyes told MindaNews they support the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem “dahil matino sila mag-isip, mabubuting tao, may pananalig sa Diyos at pamumunuan tayo ng mahusay, paglilingkuran tayo ng tapat at pagisilbihan tayo ng wagas” (because they have great minds, are good persons, have faith in God and will lead us well, they will serve us honestly and wholly),
Robredo is gunning for the country’s top post as an independent candidate although she remains the chair of the opposition Liberal Party, where Pangilinan is the party president.
Reyes said Robredo’s supporters in Davao City hope to fully organize themselves before the campaign season, which will start from February 8 to May 7, 2022 for president, vice president, senator and party-list groups.
Labor group Sentro-Davao, which is composed of some 2,000 members, also expressed support to Robredo’s bid for the presidency. The group also joined the caravan in Davao City and its chapter in General Santos City did the same.
Mercy Abucayon, Sentro-Davao spokesperson, said the group examined and deliberated on the track record of the various presidential candidates, and agreed to throw their support behind Robredo.
“For us, Leni is number one…She has contributed a lot of things for the farmers and labor groups,“ she said.
The Alliance of Labor Leaders for Leni brought along tarpaulins with the message: “Ayuda at Trabahong Ligtas para sa lahat” (Help and Safe Work for All)
In Zamboanga City, Robredo supporters went into “ribboning,” the groups dividing into small teams to adhere to MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) protocols, in their respective areas. Pink ribbons were tied on street posts and railings around the city .
In General Santos City, a motorcade was held by Leni supporters in cars, motorcycles and tricycles bearing pink flaglets. Several supporters also wore pink.
In Misamis Oriental, at least 260 vehicles joined the caravan for Robredo from Manticao to Tagoloan town (see other story). Robredo was in Cagayan de Oro City last weekend and visited Sumilao in Bukidnon, Iligan and Marawi cities.
Robredo thanked her supporters nationwide for expressing their unity and support. “Wala man tayo na meron sila, meron tayong wala sila and kayo lahat yun. Ang magpapanalo po talaga sa laban na ito sa atin pagmamahal at pakikiisa at ito po ay ramdam na ramdam natin today, lalong-lalo na. Sana in the days to come, lalo pa nating maramdaman ang pagmamahal at pakikiisa ng bawat isa” (We may not have something that they have. But we have something that they don’t have and that is all of you. What will make us win will be love and unity and this we really felt today, especially. Hopefully, in the days to come, we will feel more love for and solidarity with each other), she said. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews with reports from Frencie Carreon and Froilan Gallardo)