Monday, April 11, 2016

Leni visits Marcos country

Rep. Leni Robredo arrives at the Laoag International Airport (Lei Adriano)
By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—If the number of cheering crowd and the usual warm reception from Ilocanos are to be based on, Vice Presidential candidate Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo would probably fail to break in the so-called ‘solid north’ vote promised to his closest rival, Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. when she visited his home turf on March 18. 

Touching down at the Laoag International Airport via a private plane in Monday, only a handful of local Liberal Party officials and supporters welcomed her at the airport with no fancy drums and lyre or eye-catching banners and placards from identified supporters.

Students at the privately-owned Northwestern University in Laoag City however   serenaded Ms. Robredo with guitars and warm applause as she set foot at the school compound and met with students at the school function hall.

Asked by students if she is not intimidated to enter Ilocos Norte known as Marcos turf, she said “I have nothing to lose.”

“I think I owe everyone a chance to know me para merong alternative. Yung mga election na dinaanan ko, I was running against a very powerful politician in my district. Parang sinasabi nila ang lakas ng loob mong kalabanin sila but for me, I have so much faith in the Filipino electorate already. Tingin ko naman ang mga tao ngayon ay mas tinitignan ang pagkatao, mas bukas ang isip para tumanggap ng makabagong alternatibo,” Ms. Robredo said as she opened up to students who she is as a public servant.

Though her flight was delayed for an hour, Ms. Robredo still managed to meet with Carmelite nuns where she was gladly received by the church workers of the Diocese of Laoag. 

At the Carmelite Monastery, Rev. Father Joey Ranjo who was one of those who welcomed Ms. Robredo in behalf of Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba who had an earlier commitment during her scheduled visit.

“As a vice presidential candidate who requested to have a courtesy call with the church, it is just right and proper for us to give the courtesy,” Fr. Ranjo said.

Asked if the Diocese of Laoag will support Ms. Robredo, Fr. Ranjo said each priest or church worker have their own bets “but we all pray for all candidates so that they may serve well the public.”

As Ms. Robredo enjoyed some light talks with the nuns, the latter also prayed with her before she left at the monastery and met with Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, first district) in his house in Barit, Laoag City. 

Mr. Fariñas however declined media interview when asked for a statement after meeting with Ms. Robredo in a closed door session. 

“As a family member, we should show our support [to Leni]. She is very good at helping the poor like what we see about her on TV,” said Fernando Cabrales, LP provincial chairman. 

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