CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- As the last week of campaign kicked-off, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo expressed her gratitude to volunteers and supporters of opposition bets “Otso Diretso.”
In a statement, Robredo expressed her admiration to all the volunteers and supporters of Otso Diretso group, mostly ordinary Filipinos, for their “hard work and dedication” during the stretch of the campaign.
Robredo, together with Otso Diretso campaign manager Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, recalled several stories from the growing pool of supporters which range from campaign materials being printed using their own money, making handwritten posters, hosting campaign sorties, and going around their communities to introduce the eight candidates.
“This has been the heart behind Otso Diretso’s campaign, and a constant source of inspiration in the face of many challenges, including limited resources and the current 'political climate,' where many local officials are afraid to show their support for the slate,” Robredo said.
The growing pool of supporters and volunteers, Robredo said, include people from different walks of life -- from young people to senior citizens, solo parents, and even a man who has cancer.
“Kapag nagbubukas kasi ng Facebook, nakikita ko, hindi namin mga kilala, pero nakikita natin iyong mga ginagawang nakakabilib,” she said. “Parang sasabihin mo, ‘Sobrang suwerte naman natin na mayroon tayong mga taong ganito.”
Robredo also paid tribute in particular to the volunteers of Otso Diretso who were killed in a road mishap in Baguio City recently and extended condolences and thanks to the families, especially as they continue to express support for Otso Diretso despite the incident.
Amid their mourning, Pangilinan also expressed gratitude to the victims for their genuine compassion and concern that have been fueling the opposition senatorial slate’s campaign.
“Sila po talaga ang tumataya. Anim po ang nasawi, isa ho ay bata -- apo -- at iyong lima ho, nanay. Nanay at mga lola,” he said.
“Talagang dito ho, sa atin siyempre napakasakit, masakit sa atin na nangyari ito, pero talagang sila ho ang nagsakripisyo at tumaya. Sila ho ang ating mga bayani in that sense -- the heroes of this political exercise. They sacrificed their lives for our efforts and our campaigns,” he said.