At the “Quezonduan: Grand People’s Rally”, Vice President Leni Robredo and her supporters made a pact: once she becomes President, no one will be left behind.
Before more than 80,000 people in Lucena City, Robredo promised that those in the margins will be at the center of her administration’s programs.
“Ang aking pong ipapangako sa inyo: na pag ako naging Pangulo, ang laylayan ang magiging bagong sentro,” Robredo said. “Ang gustong sabihan niyan: sabay-sabay nating aalagaan 'yung mga hindi pareho sa atin ang katayuan sa buhay.”
Robredo said her administration and the people would be working together to achieve this goal.
The mammoth crowd cheered. It is their agreement, the kasunduan made in Quezon on Thursday, April 28, in Lucena City, henceforth known as “Quezonduan”.
Local artists opened the rally with a cultural performance called “Tagayan”, where representing the people, they voiced their hopes for the province with a shot of lambanog, the popular drink made from fermented coconut sap that Quezon is known for.
As is tradition, the dancers offered the first toast to bad spirits instead of drinking it – to drive away the “evil spirits” ailing the country, including tax evaders, revisionists, apologists, and trolls.
“Ang yaman ng bayan ay para sa lahat at hindi lamang para sa iilan,” said one of the performers. “Kasama lahat, walang maiiwan,” another shouted.
Throughout the three-month campaign, Robredo has made it a point to visit the remotest communities, talk to families, find out what they need.
In Quezon the whole of Thursday, Robredo visited the municipalities of Catanauan and Guinayangan – hours away from the capital Lucena.
“Bakit mahalaga na hindi tayo nakukuntento na nandito lang tayo sa isang malaking rally? Na kahit malalayong mga lugar, kahit maliliit na bayan, pinupuntahan natin? [G]usto po nating maabot 'yung mga hindi makakapunta dito,” Robredo said at the rally.
For the past six years, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has been reaching out to these communities through its flagship poverty alleviation program, Angat Buhay.
In Quezon, the OVP has established nine Community Learning Hubs, aimed at continuing the education of children amid pandemic restrictions.
Robredo knows exactly where the Community Learning Hubs are: in Barangays Dalahican, Eleven, Kota, Talao-Talao.
“Meron din po tayo sa General Luna, meron po tayo sa Mulanay, meron po tayo sa Calauag, meron po tayo sa Tayabas, at meron tayo sa Infanta. Ano pong gustong sabihin? Pag meron tayong mga Community Learning Hubs, ang mga bata nakakapag-aral kahit sarado 'yung mga paaralan,” Robredo said.
The OVP also provided PPE sets and medical supplies to frontliners and hospitals in Quezon at the height of the pandemic and was quick to initiate relief operations when calamities hit the province.
The show of force in Quezon was yet another indication of the momentum of Robredo’s campaign with just over a week to go before election day.
Still, she reminded the people that a last push is needed.
“Hindi pa po tayo panalo. Kailangan pa po nating magpagod,” Robredo said. “Kaya po habaan natin ang ating pag-unawa? Habaan po natin ang ating pasensya, buksan natin ang ating mga puso, para iparamdam sa iba ang radikal na pagmamahal.” [End]