Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, received yet another valuable endorsement at the 'OlongaPINK: Zambales People's Rally' on Tuesday, April 19.
The Aetas of Zambales told local officials of the province that they wanted to raise the hands of Robredo and Pangilinan, as a sign of their endorsement of the tandem's candidacies in the May 9 elections.
Chieftain Fe Domulot and her fellow Aetas joined the Leni-Kiko tandem on stage and raised their hands, while the moving ballad "Rosas"– which has become one of the campaign’s theme songs – was playing in the background.
"Alam niyo po, ayon sa kasaysayan at karanasan naming mga katutubo, kami pong mga katutubo ay biktima ng karahasan, biktima ng kaapihan, biktima ng kawalan ng edukasyon, biktima ng walang karapatan," Domulot said.
"Kaya po mga kapatid, alam niyo po kung bakit si Madam Leni at Kiko ang gusto namin? Dahil sila po ang mayroong malawak at mas malalim na karanasan sa paglilingkod," she said at the rally.
Domulot added that Robredo and Pangilinan have a track record of serving people like them who are oppressed and experience in serving those in need.
"Marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob at higit po sa lahat, walang bahid ng korapsyon," Domulot said, in front of the crowd, some of whom were in tears because of the endorsement.
Domulot said that her tribe feels the Leni-Kiko tandem will be the one who will recognize their experiences as indigenous people and fight for their rights.
The chieftain closed her statement with compelling words, saying: "Titindig at lalaban kami para sa tambalang Leni at Kiko Pangilinan."
Robredo and Pangilinan, who were both visibly touched by endorsement, embraced the chieftain and her fellow Aetas.
Robredo thanked the Aeta tribe for their endorsement, saying it was very meaningful for her and Pangilinan.
"Napakamakahulugan noon dahil pinapakita na ang tunay na kapangyarihan, wala po sa aming mga politiko. Ang tunay na kapangyarihan, nasa kamay ng ordinaryong Pilipino. At ito po 'yung pinakabuod ng eleksyon natin ngayon,” Robredo said.
Earlier in San Narciso town, Robredo promised the fisherfolk that she would ensure a stronger Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and provide them with more modern fishing vessels so that they can continue fishing in Scarborough Shoal, despite China’s constant threats and harassment.x
"[P]ara sa akin dapat tinututukan ito ng pamahalaan hindi lang sa pagsiguro na 'yung mga karagatan natin nakakapangisda 'yung mga mangingisda natin ng libre, pero tinutulungan sila magkaroon ng mga fishing boats na kayang pumunta sa malayo para nakakapangisda sila ng maayos," Robredo said.
She added that with more modern and better equipment, the PCG can patrol the Scarborough Shoal better and could provide more protection for the fishermen. [End]