Robredo-Pangilinan campaign draws largest crowd in Pampanga

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Robredo-Pangilinan campaign draws largest crowd in Pampanga
Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, attend a campaign rally in San Fernando, Pampanga on Saturday night.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Pampanga’s “Manalakaran” rally on Saturday drew the biggest crowd for the campaign of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

Police and organizers estimated the number of attendees at 220,000.

The Leni-Kiko supporters who came to Manalakaran People’s Rally in San Fernando City was the largest crowd the ticket has gathered so far, beating the Pasig-Laban rally on March 20.

Manalakaran is a Kapampangan word for standing up together.

Robredo said the overwhelming support from the Kapampangans is a clear demonstration of love for the country.

“True strength will not come from us, politicians. True strength will not come from money or any machinery. True strength will come from the people, and you showed it here in Pampanga,” Robredo said in her speech in Filipino.

The highlight of the night, however, was the surprise endorsement that Pangilinan received during the rally.

Left out of some of the major political endorsements that Robredo received, the senator turned emotional when a group of farmers from San Simon municipality appeared on stage to show their support to his candidacy.

Over the past weeks, several politicians have formally endorsed Robredo and paired her with other vice presidential bets, notably Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

In Dagupan on Friday, for instance, the senator looked on as the De Venecia family raised the hands of Robredo.

The Pampanga rally was attended by Pangilinan’s wife, actress and singer Sharon Cuneta and other celebrities.

LOAMCP backs Leni-Kiko tandem

Meanwhile, the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP Philippines) has also endorsed the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem.

Rommel Arnado, LOAMCP national president and mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, said only the Leni-Kiko ticket can bring prosperity and development to the countryside, adding that among their priorities are good governance and the development of agriculture.

The LOAMCP boasts of around 200 municipalities, cities and provinces across the country as members.

Arnado called on fellow local officials to support the Leni-Kiko tandem, which he called a new breed of leadership.

He described Pangilinan as “a selfless and dedicated public servant who truly stands for the people.” – Janvic Mateo, Ric Sapnu

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