SINDANGAN, Zamboanga del Norte (MindaNews / 18 March) – Two of three members of the House of Representatives from Zamboanga del Norte are supporting the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a phone interview, Sindangan Mayor Rosendo Labadlabad said he and his wife Second District Rep. Glona Labadlabad are endorsing Robredo’s candidacy.
The mayor and his wife, along with Third District Rep. Isagani S. Amatong and some other mayors in the province, fetched the vice president who arrived via a private chopper for a rally on Thursday afternoon at the Sindangan Cultural Center attended by around 15,000 supporters.
Rep. Labadlabad is running for a third term while her husband is seeking a second term under the PDP-Laban.
Rep. Amatong, who has remained with the Liberal Party, is on his third term. His son Adrian Amatong is seeking to succeed him in Congress as a candidate of the PDP-Laban and Team Kauswagan.
Mayor Labadlabad admitted that although their group called Team Kalambuan is working as one at the local level, they are supporting different candidates for national positions.
He said Gov. Roberto Uy, who is running for mayor of Dapitan City, has yet to announce his choice for president.
During the rally Mayor Labadlabad introduced the vice president to the crowd and recalled that when they were both members of the 16th Congress they fought for the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill, which Robredo co-authored.
Robredo warned that some candidates would promise many things including an end to corruption, but that the people should ask for “resibo” or proof.
“If they say they love Sindangan, ask them if they came here before they decided to run. This is my third time to be here,” she said in Filipino.
“If they say they love the poor, ask for proof to show they love the poor. If they say they hate corruption, ask for proof because they might just say they hate corruption but their names are linked to many anomalies,” she said.
“We have 55 days left before election, many things remain to be done. Our assignment is to campaign, convince them, but we will convince them by using proof, not fake news,” she said.
“We know many lies are being spread through Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok. We should not imitate them, let us change lies with truth because if this election would be based on lies, how miserable we would be, wouldn’t we?” she added.
Robredo also praised the supporters who have volunteered for her campaign. She cited those who prepared “lugaw” (porridge), printed tarpaulins with their own money, and allowed the use of their vehicles during rallies.
“It’s different now. Before it was the candidates who brought gifts. Now it’s the opposite, it’s you the supporters who are now giving gifts,” she said.
Before her short message, Robredo read most of the placards in front of the stage and even took selfies with some of the owners. (Rey J. Garcia/MindaNews)