'Pink Sunday': Robredo campaign rally draws thousands in vote-rich Quezon City

'Pink Sunday': Robredo campaign rally draws thousands in vote-rich Quezon City
Photo dated February 13, 2022 shows the "Pink Sunday" event organized by supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis Pangilinan.
Release / Quezon City government

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands clad in pink came out to support the election tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Sunday morning at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

According to the Quezon City Police District “more or less” 7,000 supporters showed up at the covered court inside the venue and outside at the Liwasang Aurora.

But Robredo and her campaign team estimated that more than 20,000 people came out to see her. The volunteer organizers went as far as estimating 50,000 in attendance. 

"Overwhelmed by your love. Maraming, maraming salamat, QC! Tara na, ipanalo na natin ‘to (Many, many thanks, QC! Let's go win this)," the Vice President tweeted in Filipino after the event. 

"These are the people who have decided that it is time for us to use our power to change the course of our government," she said of her supporters during her speech.

Quezon City, the biggest city in the capital region, is the most populous city in the country and is also its most vote-rich city with some 1.4 million registered voters.

Robredo lost to her election rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Quezon City when she ran for her current post in 2016. President Rodrigo Duterte also won in the city that election. 

The Vice President was welcomed by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte at the city hall to start the event. Belmonte has, as of this writing, not made clear her endorsement for the 2022 polls. 

"Why should we be trusted? Because the government cannot solve all the problems of society, the needs can only be met if the government cooperates with the ordinary people. That is the kind of government we promise you," Robredo said in Filipino. 

“We know that we have a lot of work to do, but the love you show, that's what gives us strength for every day, to wake up early, work more than 18 hours,” she also said, implicitly referencing the “satirical” video of Sen. Imee Marcos about a certain “Len-len” who fainted after working 18 hours.

QC gov’t urges crowd control after ‘violations’

The Quezon City government later Sunday issued a statement claiming that the campaign rally event “resulted in a spillover crowd that violated several restrictions that were mutually agreed upon.”

“We would also like to remind the organizers of these events about the importance of attending our pre-event coordination meetings, and more importantly, about strictly adhering to the agreements outlined in the signed permits,” the statement read.

Belmonte is running for re-election as Quezon City chief but is challenged by Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan), who earlier asked to reserve the same venue on behalf of Marcos Jr., the son of the late ousted dictator.

“While crowd control is a highly complicated aspect of large gatherings, it is a test of discipline for the organizers and attendees to show that their chosen candidates observe the laws of the land,” the Quezon City government said.

“We hope that in the future, all coordinators will take this responsibility more seriously.”

READ: QC to Marcos motorcade: Ensure safety of participants

Sought for comment by reporters, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo's spokesperson, assured the public that Robredo's campaign "is taking steps to ensure stricter compliance with all applicable regulations moving forward."

"We acknowledge the concerns of the Quezon City Government, extend our thanks for its vigilance, and take full responsibility," he said.

"While the organizers ensured that access to the immediate vicinity of the program proper was limited, and that all attendees were advised to bring vaccination cards and observe health protocols, the sheer number of people that arrived was a challenge, for which we apologize."

When Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio held a similar pre-campaign event in Quezon City, the local government unit also issued a statement after the fact saying it was "saddened that the motorcade organizer seemed to have changed his mind and refused to coordinate with the local government."

In a statement issued later Wednesday, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson apologized to motorists, the Quezon City government and MMDA for traffic congestion caused by the motorcade. 

"The organizers of the event did not expect their their meticulous and extensive preparation to be overwhelmed by the large number of supporters of Bongbong and Sara who are eager to unite and see their candidates for the presidency and vice presidency," he said in Filipino. 

Franco Luna with reports from News5/Camille Samonte



Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.




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