With only four more days before the end of the campaign period, various political groups in Mindanao on Wednesday changed their allegiance from presidential candidates Bongbong Marcos and Isko Moreno to Leni Robredo and her running-mate Kiko Pangilinan.
The groups include Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM), First Community Cooperatives Foundation, Mindanao Women Advocacy, and I M K Leni para sa Bayan.
In various events here, Misamis Oriental gubernatorial candidate Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oca Moreno strongly endorsed Pangilinan, saying the senator is the best and most qualified among other contenders for vice-president, and provide stability in a Robredo presidency.
“And she (VP Robredo) needs support, real support. She needs real support. She cannot do it alone. She needs a team na mauban ka diha (accompany), mutabang ka diha (help). So, importante kaayo si Vice President Kiko Pangilinan,” he said in response to the question why is he not supporting a fellow Mindanaoan, referring to Sara Duterte.
“This is not just for me, not just for us, it is for everyone,” he said.
The MisOr gubernatorial candidate said that the problems ahead, particularly on economy and health, “can be very, very complex” and would need “teamwork and harmony”.
He said he has learned in his years of government service that decisions are not made by one person.
“Kaya you consult your peers, your other high officials. Importante kaayo ang chemistry. Importante ang chemistry and the last thing we need is conflict, intriga, and certainly, demolition, no? We have had enough. The country has been divided for far too long,” he said.
“What we need is an administration that can unite the people. An administration that is humble, an administration that is focused on addressing the problems of the country, no?” he said.
“The leadership should inspire the people,” he said.
“We have had many moments of destabilization. What we need is to get our country back on its feet and work together and [I see that] the only person who can lead our country now, that can effectively result in the country’s economy rebounding is President Leni Robredo,” said the Cagayan de Oro chief executive.
For his part, Pangilinan said that as the food basket of the country, Mindanao will be “very, very crucial” in addressing poverty and hunger, two of the country’s most basic problems that he intends to solve.
“If we double our budget in agriculture, ma-e-excite ang private sector na mag-invest din,” the vice-presidential candidate said, adding that farmers and fishers, who have long been neglected, as well as food security, will be front and center in a Robredo presidency
“Ang appeal ko sa ating mga taga-Mindanao…dito sa Cagayan de Oro, bigyan natin ng tsansa ang agrikultura kung gusto po natin makinabang nang direkta ang Mindanao,” he said.
“Iboto po natin yung merong track record sa agri, ginagawang priority ang agri dahil Mindanao would benefit immensely because naririto talaga ang malaking potential for agri kung gawing tama at maiayos. Mindanao will play a very important role,” Pangilinan said.