ILOILO City – Vice President Leni Robredo confidently claimed her victory in the 2016 elections as she reiterated the failure of the electoral protest filed against her.
Speaking here yesterday, Robredo said the protest of losing candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. only affirmed her win in 2016, even when he dragged the province of Iloilo into it by picking it as one of his three pilot provinces for an initial recount.
The Vice President proudly told Ilonggo voters that she fell in love even more with their province because of the love and support that she has received here — as shown by the election results and the recount for the electoral protest.
“Nadamay po kayo, nag-file sa akin ng protesta ‘yong kalaban ko sa eleksyon. Ang sabi niya, nandaya daw po ako nang grabe dito sa Iloilo. Binuksan naman ‘yong mga balota — walang nakitang pandaraya dahil hindi naman nandadaya ang mga tao dito sa Iloilo,” said Robredo, whose remarks were met with loud applause from an audience composed of representatives from various sectors in the province.
Robredo won by a landslide in Iloilo province, where she received 573,829 votes, compared to 94,411 votes for Marcos.
In Iloilo City, which the Presidential Electoral Tribunal considers separate from the province, she secured 137,662 votes, winning against Marcos by 100,000 votes.
Despite this, Marcos insisted that he was cheated in Iloilo, and included it in the three pilot provinces that would determine whether his protest will proceed. Coming out of the recount, Robredo’s legal team said no cheating was found in the said province.
The Vice President was in Iloilo City for the launch of the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon, an initiative that seeks to boost the influence of basic sectors in local governance, and help them push for their own People’s Council —a mechanism that promotes people participation in governance, as started by Robredo’s late husband, Jesse, when he was mayor of Naga City.
She also took the opportunity to ask Ilonggos to support the senatorial candidates under Otso Diretso.
During the event, members of the Otso Diretso slate were present, including Magdalo’s Rep. Gary Alejano, former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao assemblywoman Samira Gutoc, former solicitor general Pilo Hilbay, and former congressman Erin Tañada.
They signed a covenant where they commit to promoting the welfare of basic sectors should they be elected to the Senate.
The senatorial candidates hit back at presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, who called their recent visit to Masinloc, Zambales a “publicity stunt.”
“We are just calling out the President for a promise he made; ang publicity stunt ay ‘yong jetski niya,” Hilbay said.
The Otso Diretso bets went to Zambales on Monday to call on the administration to stand up for the rights of Filipinos over territories that China continues to claim to be theirs despite the historic ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
The candidates challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to finally fulfill his promise to ride a jetski over the West Philippine Sea to prove our stake there.
They also spoke with fishermen who were being barred and harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard whenever they would attempt to fish in Scarborough Shoal.
Joining Alejano, Gutoc, Tañada, and Hilbay in Otso Diretso are Sen. Bam Aquino, former senator Mar Roxas, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, and respected human rights lawyer Chel Diokno./PN