Cebu News

VP aspirant Robredo woos vote-rich Cebu

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo hopes to get the support of vote-rich Cebu as she admits that she is not as popular as the others aspiring for the said post.  

Robredo, the incumbent congresswoman of Camarines Sur who was in Cebu yesterday, said she hopes Cebuanos would be her tool in informing the public about her advocacies and intention in next year’s political battle.

Robredo said she has an edge over other candidates because she has worked with various groups in the grassroots level by providing free legal assistance to the poor.

“Buong buhay ko devoted to public service. Napagsilbihan ko ang mga fisherfolk, urban poor, magsasaka. Sa palagay ko ito yung malaki kong advantage dahil alam ko kung ano ang totoong kahirapan na napagdanan ng simpleng tao,” she said in an interview with Cebu media after a forum with various civil society groups.

Robredo, the widow of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, used to work at the Public Attorney’s Office in Camarines Sur and subsequently joined the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (Saligan) for more than 10 years.

Saligan is a legal resource non-governmental organization doing developmental legal work with women, farmers, workers, the urban poor, the indigenous peoples and local communities.

 After meeting with different organizations, Robredo and LP senatorial bet Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan proceeded to the Provincial Capitol and were welcomed by LP Cebu mayors, as well as those belonging to the local parties: Alayon and Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud), both allied with LP.

Incumbent mayors in the first district were all present, except for Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes.

In her short speech, Leni thanked the mayors for their presence and expressed how her family loves Cebu.

She disclosed that they have relatives in Tabuelan town whose mayor Rex Gerona is allied with the opposition, One Cebu Party.

“I was hoping that Mayor Rex would be here but he’s not around,” she said.

She then recalled the last place her husband visited in Cebu which was in Consolacion town.

Jesse was in Consolacion to lead the ground breaking ceremony of the new training camp of the Philippine National Police hours before he died in a plane crash in 2012.

“Kakabit na ang Cebu sa pamilya namin. Babalik-balikan talaga namin ang Cebu,” Leni added.

She further expressed her intention to ask for support from the mayors, but said she will do it “sa tamang panahon (at the right time)”.

“Bawal pa kasi ngayon but I will leave it to Governor (Hilario Davide III) and Vice Gov (Agnes Magpale),” she said.

On the other hand, Acting Danao City Mayor Ramon “Red” Durano VI, said in a separate interview that the Durano-led Bakud Party has not decided yet who to support among the presidential and vice presidential tickets.

Durano said they have yet to scrutinize the capability of the bets.

LGBT stand

 Various civic and urban poor groups asked Robredo on her stand and platforms on several issues involving the urban poor, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender), women, youth and other basic sectors.

 Demetri Cortes, who represented LGBT in yesterday’s forum, laid down a 6-point agenda for the LGBT group in Cebu to aid “abuse, rape, murder and suicide” issues.

 He said political leaders must champion equal opportunity, legal rights, recognition, health, education and social welfare.

 Cortes cited another point of equal opportunity, which is same sex marriage.

 “We can’t prevent the right of happiness. But sadly, we have laws specifically the Family Code that states that marriage is between man and woman,” he said.

 Aside from that, he proposes to have a three-bathroom policy for transgenders in order to address discrimination.

 He lamented that LGBT groups are still not accepted in the community but are just being “tolerated.”

 Robredo, for her part, said there’s really a need to address LGBT issues by giving them equal opportunity.

 She shared Cortes’ stand that those from the LGBT community needs to be completely accepted in the community.  (FREEMAN)


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