Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday reclaimed a mural in Echague, Isabela that was painted over by authorities and told supporters in a campaign rally that followed how she helped the province during the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysees (Vamco).
Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, joined supporters in drawing an outline of a rose, one of the symbols of her presidential campaign. Last week, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of rules on election posters in private party, the same rule that allowed the defacement of the mural.
"Pag panahon po ng eleksyon, maraming kandidato ang mangangako sa atin. Lahat ng kandidato sasabihin 'Mahal ko kayo,' pero yung tanong, noong hindi pa ba sila kandidato, noong wala pa bang eleksyon, pinakita ba nila sa atin na mahal nila tayo?" she said.
She acknowledged the work of volunteers in the province, thanking them for supporting her campaign in Isabela which is traditionally been regarded as part of the so-called "Solid North" political base of her chief rival, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos.
Speaking before an estimated crowd of 10,000 according to Rappler and Manila Bulletin, Robredo reminded her supporters not to be swayed by words of endearment from candidates during the election season.
Robredo said that although she lost in Isabela in the 2016 elections, she was one of the first to visit and help the province when Typhoon Ulysses hit in November 2020. She even left a team from the Office of the Vice President to hold relief operations in the province for one month, she added.
"Kaya ko lang naman po yun sinasabi dahil napakadali lang na magsabi na 'Mahal ko kayo.' Pero laging pag nagsasabing 'Mahal ko kayo,' papaano ito pinakita noong walang eleksyon? Dahil madalas kung wala namang eleksyon hindi naman nagpapakita.... Ang una pong hanapin: resibo," she added.
Pangilinan also showed a receipt of one of his campaign promises in the 2016 elections when he ran for senator, which was to help the agriculture sector through the Sagip Saka Act.
"Hindi lamang nangangako, kundi tinutupad ang pangako. At kayo'y makakaasa, kapag tayo ay palarin, yung ating mga layunin, gagampanan natin nang buong tapang at buong puso para matugunan ang ating mga problema at mahanapan talaga ng solusyon," he said.
Robredo told the crowd that should she get elected for president, her administration has plans in place to help Filipinos find jobs, finish their education, and improve the agriculture sector. She also encouraged her youth supporters to start paving the way for political change in the country.
"Kaya po ang tanong ko sa inyo, 58 days to go na lang. Handa ba kayong ipaglaban ang inyong kinabukasan sa susunod na 58 days?... Kung ganito po lagi kayo mga kabataan na handang ipaglaban yung inyong kinabukasan, ang pagbabago po malapit na nating makamtan," she added.
Robredo's political gathering in Echague came just a day after she held her biggest campaign rally yet, where an estimated 70,000 people turned up in Bacolod City to support her candidacy.
The vice president was also the most-searched presidential candidate on Google Trends this week, after the turnout in her campaign rallies.