CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — At the kick-off of the campaign period for local elections, vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday swore into the opposition Liberal Party 157 new members, mostly young people, farmers, and professionals from various parts of Misamis Oriental.
At the oath-taking, Pangilinan gave the marching order to the new party members: win his tandem with Vice-President Leni Robredo and the Tropang Angat senators by going house-to-house and convincing the Andy’s (undecideds) until they become Daisy’s (decideds).
He said that while he had wanted to simply run for the Senate re-election, Robredo was able to convince him to “fight the epic battle of our time.”
“At gagawin natin ang lahat huwag lang manumbalik ang pang-aabuso, kurakot, plundering at revisionism ng kasaysayan. I was a student leader who fought against the dictator, and never in my life that I imagined na makakabalik [sa poder] ang pinatalsik na na pamilya,” he said.
Pangilinan said the party has always been at the forefront of the fight for democracy and freedom, citing Zamboanga City Mayor Cesar Climaco, Antique Mayor Evelio Javier, and Senator Ninoy Aquino, who lived and died defending these values.
“Sanay tayong tumatayo para sa ating paninindigan, binubuwis ang buhay. The same applies today when we are experiencing the worst economic crisis in 70 years and the worst health crisis in a hundred years, when millions go hungry and hundreds continue to die, and when we have a government that is stealing Covid funds,” he said.
Pangilinan said that instead of going to hospitals and treatment, the billions of Covid funds go into the pockets of cronies, who instead of being prosecuted are being defended, causing deaths even among medical front-liners who died prematurely due to lack of preventive personnel funds.
In contrast, he said Robredo shows compassion by immediately sending out relief packs and setting up medical service operations.
“Sa OVP maliwanag ang objective, magbigay ng suporta. [Sa iba], paano pagkakitaan ang Covid…Naging conduit pa ng overpriced and substandard [medical products]. Sa halip na sugpuin ang Covid, [ang objective] samantalahin ang Covid. Halimaw lang ang gumagawa niyan,” he said.
Bencyrus Ellorin, who organized the Liberal Party oath-taking, said the party needs to reclaim the democratic space with truth-telling as misinformation, disinformation, and fake news dominates the Internet.
Ellorin said democracy-loving Filipinos were angered by Monday’s rally pushing for the tandem of Robredo and Sara Duterte.
“Galit ang mga tao. Alam ng tao ang pag-angat ni Leni, pag-angat ni Kiko,” he said.