Lanao Norte town backs Kiko as Leni’s VP

Lanao Norte town backs Kiko as Leni’s VP

Even as political operators continue to try to split the Leni-Kiko tandem, local leaders and ordinary folk here have expressed their full support for the candidacy of vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s running-mate.

At the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TROPA) Kauswagan People’s Rally here Thursday evening, incumbent Mayor Rommel Arnado and vice-mayoral candidate Doc Max Arnado openly announced their support for the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem.

Doc Max Arnado, who introduced Pangilinan, said Robredo’s choice for vice-president has always supported Kauswagan in the various projects. He said the former food security secretary can be trusted to make real his promise of eradicating extreme hunger as expressed in his campaign battlecry, “Goodbye gutom, Hello pagkain”.

Like Mayor Rommel Arnado, Pangilinan is an advocate of organic farming and agricultural and fisheries development.

Robredo’s choice for vice-president said society should respect farmers and fishers for putting food on our table. He said that hand in hand with ensuring better incomes for food producers, getting more leaders to advocate for agriculture and fisheries would raise the profile and standing of farmers and fishers.

“Kailangan baguhin ang kultura. Sabi nga ng anak ko na si Frankie, noong 9 years old siya, dapat ang trato natin sa mga magsasaka ay parang ating mga magulang dahil sila ang nagpapakain sa atin,” Pangilinan said.

“Kaya tayo lamang ang kandidato sa apagka-bise-presidente sa loob ng dalawampung taong halalan sa ating bansa, ang ginagawang sentro ang pagsasaka at pangingisda, ang ayuda at suporta sa magsasaka at mangingisda — para mawala na nga ang mataas na presyo ng pagkain at mawala na ang matinding gutom,” he added.

Pangilinan, who has consistently won in Kauswagan, thanked the crowd for the support and vowed to continue reciprocating with honest public service.

The lawmaker won in the 2001, 2007 and 2016 senatorial elections. In 2016, he placed second in the city with 4,192 votes.

“Ako po nanalo dito sa Kauswagan noong nakaraang halalan. Binoto po ninyo ako, number 2 po ako dito bilang Senador, salamat sa suporta ninyo. Nanalo din ako dito sa Lanao Del Norte noong 2007 pinagkatiwalaan ninyo ako. Salamat sa suporta ninyo,” he said.

“At dahil pinagkatiwalaan ako, sa tatlong termino natin ni minsan hindi tayo nasangkot sa ano mang kaso ng katiwalian,” he added, to the crowd’s delight erupting in cheers and screaming “Kiko kami.”

Regular folk here have expressed their support for Pangilinan’s vice-presidential candidacy.

“The vice-president is the second most powerful in the country. Dapat magka-tandem sila ng presidente. Katuwang ng president ang vice-president. Kapag magka-iba sila ng partido baka hindi nila pagkatiwalaan ang isa’t-isa,” said Bernard, a 60-year-old retiree from Cagayan De Oro City.

“Hindi po ako papayag personally [ng split tandem] kasi naging tandem na po si Leni with Kiko. Kung siya na po yung personally na inendorse ni Leni, mas pipiliin ko po yun kasi doon ako mag stick sa values and values niya sa politics,” said Kurt, a 19-year-old student from Iligan City.

Team Robredo-Pangilinan, together with the Tropang Angat senatorial slate, visited Lanao Del Norte Thursday. They are expected to visit Marawi City today, April 1.

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