MITCH M. LIPA
A multi-sectoral alliance representing marginalized sectors and civil society organizations in Negros Occidental called on Vice President Leni Robredo to take on challenge and run for the presidency in 2022.
During the Feb. 25 launch of the Negros for Leni at the TimeOut Resto Grill in Bacolod City, attendees signed a manifesto urging Robredo to lead the Filipinos as she has the qualifications needed to steer the country to a new dawn in the wake of the misgovernance of the current administration.
Former Gov. Rafael Coscolluela, co-convenor of the Negros for Leni, read a one-page statement on behalf of the group that included the urban poor, farmers, fisherfolk, informal settlers, youth, academe, business and entrepreneurs, retired government workers, labor, women and the LGBT, among others.
The Negrenses’ search for the next President coincided with the country’s commemoration of the 35th EDSA People Power Revolution.
“The Office of the President is endowed with great power. That power is capable of employing the means to destroy and build the nation. In the wrong hands, whether abusive or incompetent, a nation can sink in a quagmire of partisan discord, bureaucratic corruption, misgovernance, abuse of authority, political repression, peasant unrest, inequitable development or simple backwardness,” Coscolluela said.
In the hands of a competent and trustworthy administration anchored on the right values and vision, he continued, any nation can overcome adversity and will prosper.
“Good leadership is the first ingredient in a nation’s development” Coscolluela emphasized.
Coscolluela, in the same statement, outlined 10 qualifications of a President that Filipino voters should choose come 2022.
These include a healing and unifying President; a stickler for truth, justice and fair play; a charismatic ambassador to the world; a principled politician skilled in the art of negotiation; an empowering, ethical and effective leader; a strategic development manager driven by the right vision and values; a goal-driven task master who can whip all government agencies into efficient service delivery machines; a caring, nurturing servant leader; an administrator capable of assembling and leading competent government functionaries who will carry out the administration’s programs efficiently and well, and a good communicator.
“We believe that Vice President Leni Robredo possesses all the qualities and qualifications required of a President who will not only lead with competence, but will inspire Filipinos in search of hope, enable those in need of empowerment, and restore our faith in a government that nurtures and builds and brings back our pride as Filipinos,” the former governor said.
Today, Coscolluela continued, “we add our voices to all those in other parts of the country who call on VP Leni Robredo to run for President!”
“We urge everyone to join us as we fight back for a better future for ourselves and our children,” Coscolluela added.
Coscolluela said they are giving Vice President Robredo three months to give word whether to consider the Negrenses’ call.
The launch also signals the start of a massive signature campaign to drumbeat the call through various media platforms.
The group will also launch social media sites for people to send their feedback and concerns, and a bigger organization will be formed as the month for the filing of candidacy nears.
The gathering was limited to only 100 sectoral participants because of existing health protocols.
Other sectoral speakers during the launch were lawyer Andrea Lizares-Si, a leading women’s rights advocate; former Bacolod Councilor Sonya Verdeflor, current Liberal Party city chair; labor leader Wennie Sancho; Joseph Tuvilla, Jr., representing the young professionals; youth leaders Ken Gilo and Albert Pagunsan; lawyer Jessie Suarez, retired provincial director of the Commission on Elections; Robert Piansay, senior citizen; Romeo Torcuator, fisherfolk; Rodel Parcon, SME sector; Prof. Eli Patriarca, academe and Rey Provido, LGBT, among others. – MML