Painters of Isabela mural for Leni-Kiko feel emotional at meeting their subjects

March 13, 2022

Presidential candidate Leni Robredo and vice-presidential bet Kiko Pangilinan complete the mural repainted by artists whose original work was painted over by Comelec and PNP. PHOTO COURTESY: Team Kiko/Dante Diosina Jr.

ISABELA — The painters of the mural for the tandem of Vice President Leni Roberto and her running-mate, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said she and her colleagues feel emotional that they are meeting the presidential and vice-presidential aspirants on Tuesday evening.

Sybil Daguro, a dentistry student, and one of the painters of the mural located along Maharlika Highway near the Ipil Junction in Echague, Isabela, said in an interview that they are honored that the Team Robredo-Pangilinan standard bearers are visiting them.

Robredo and Pangilinan, together with several of their senatorial candidates, were in Cagayan Province this morning (March 12), and proceeded to Isabela Province to continue their campaign sorties.

From left: Sybil Daguro, student; Bimaicaren Padrones, student; Beverly Respicio, a graduate of criminology. Teary-eyed Sybil said she feels emotional that they will meet Leni and Kiko. PHOTO COURTESY: TEAM KIKO

The day before, over 70,000 in the Bacolod rally gave them a rousing welcome, capping their barnstorming of the island-province.

“Naiiyak po ako. We all feel honored that they are paying us a visit before the Echague grand rally for the Team Robredo-Pangilinan,”Daguro said.

“We repainted the defaced wall, and VP Leni and Senator Kiko are to complete the rose petals of the new mural,” Daguro said.

Evelyn Afiado Flor, owner of the lot where concrete wall serves as a perimeter fence of the property, was also visibly emotional with the attention that the mural is getting.

“Gusto lang naming tumulong sa kanilang dalawa. Lagi naming ipinagdadasal na manalo silang lahat,” Flor said in a separate interview.

Her two grandchildren, whom she did not name, are also among those who painted the original mural.

In an earlier statement, Pangilinan said the “Oplan Baklas” of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are illegal as they are on private property.

Pangilinan, a lawyer, argued that Comelec and PNP overstepped the bounds of law, saying these two agencies do not have any authority on private properties.

“Ang ating paniniwala, wala silang kapangyarihan lalo na kung ito ay personal na itinayo ng pribadong indibidwal sa kanyang pribadong pag-aari — bahay or bakod niya — at hindi naman siya kandidato…Hindi pwedeng tanggalin ng Comelec yan ng walang due process or hearing,” Pangilinan said.

“Tulad na lang dito sa Isabela, private property at pader ng may-ari, may mural na pinaghirapan ng mga kabataan at ang ginawa ay binura. Hindi iyon allowed at hindi iyon ligal,” he added.

The Comelec has since stopped removing campaign materials posted on private property after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on “Oplan Baklas” several days ago.

A key challenging moment for Leni-Kiko supporters, the defacement of the Isabela mural went viral over Twitter for several days.