ZAMBOANGA CITY — Vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is in awe of the outpouring of support displayed by Mindanaoans during the week-long campaign of the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TRoPa) in his closest rival’s home turf.
“The groundswell and momentum are building up. We did not expect this. Hindi namin inasahan na ganoon kadami ang lalabas sa General Santos, umulan pa nun. Dito sa Zamboanga, umulan din, but people did not want to leave,” Pangilinan said in a radio interview before concluding the Mindanao leg.
TRoPa began their barnstorming in General Santos all the way to Cotabato City, Pagadian City, and Basilan.
Pangilinan attributes the massive positive reception to their tandem’s clean track record, zeroing in on presidential aspirant Leni Robredo’s initiatives during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Talagang overwhelming. And I think the message of malinis at tapat na panunungkulan is something that our voters are hungry for. Parang gigil na gigil, gutom hindi lang sa pagkain pati sa katarungan at malinis na maayos na panunungkulan,” Pangilinan said.
“Sabi nga nila, the true character of a person comes out during times of crisis and in this crisis, she really went to town, delivering services which the national government was trying to figure out paano pagkakitaan iyong Covid,” he added.
Under the leadership of Robredo, the Office of the Vice President reached unprecedented accomplishments as they were able to mobilize the office even on a tight budget.
For Pangilinan, the people’s response only shows they are hungry for genuine societal change.
“I think yes [this shows that people are clamoring for change] because our track record, Vice President Leni and I, has no whiff of corruption. I won here in Zamboanga three times as a senator. I thank our Zamboangueños for this trust and I made sure that this trust was not broken. For three terms, we have never been involved in any cases of corruption,” he said.
Pangilinan, whose campaign promise revolves around food security, thanked he people who continue to back their campaign, particularly the volunteers. He said this is the first time in the six elections he’s been in that he has received gifts from supporters.
“I have never seen this kind of outpouring of sympathy and support and the commitment and the zeal and passion of volunteers,” he said.
As this support continues to grow and strengthen, Pangilinan has one promise: “We will not fail our people.”