LAST Friday, Negros Occidental saw this pandemic as crowds of the Leni Kiko supporters crowded the 15-kilometer stretch of road from the Silay-Bacolod Airport. An estimated 1,700 fleet of vehicles ranging from high-end cars to tractors, motorcycles from different haciendas to the lowly traysikad gave the visitors a warm welcome.

The highlight was the opening of the Leni-Kiko Headquarters along Hernaez Street at the heart of the City of Smiles. It was a festive mood with the drumbeaters, and the MassKara ensemble showing their world-famous stuff. No wonder similar outbursts of energy happened in other parts of the country.

My friend from Akbayan, entrepreneur Mel Jesus Sauza, congratulated Negrenses for the rousing welcome. He joined the spontaneous outbursts of the dynamic duo in KaliboAklan.

Akbayan is contesting Bongbong Marcos’ legitimacy as a presidential candidate on tax evasion issues. No less than retired Associate Justice Antonio Tirol Carpio wondered why despite his conviction the Court of Appeals merely slapped him with a fine but no imprisonment of six years. Marcos would have been banned from holding any public office. Other lawyer groups asked the same question.

In contrast, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator, tried to downplay this support by showing its Kalye Survey series that the other contenders for the presidency are at rock-bottom of the pile.

I got this message from Facebook. I asked if this is true? Can someone from Bacolod confirm this? Leni is not only going against trolls and bots and billions in resources, but also Duterte and IATF. From the leader of a major volunteer group in Bacolod and Negros:

“We filled 10 km of road stretch, the night before we did not know how we could accommodate more than 1,100 vehicles who wanted to join, because we could not go beyond the boundary of Bacolod since it is in Alert Level 4 and caravans are not allowed under that category. There was just such amazing support for VP Leni from all sectors! And guess what???? [On Saturday], they declared Alert Level 2 for Bacolod. Why? Bong Go's caravan happened [on the same day] for measly 200 cars without the same kind of fervor that happened [a day before]. But they lowered Covid alert level so Bong Co's caravan could be held in Bacolod while Leni's wasn't.”