'PINK' CAMPAIGN. Vice President Leni Robredo speaks during the proclamation rally of the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TROPA) in Plaza Quezon, Naga City, Camarines Sur on Tuesday (Feb. 8, 2022). The tandem vowed to uphold a culture of transparency and participatory governance if they win the May 9 polls. (Screengrab from VP Leni Robredo Facebook live video)

MANILA – Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan vowed to uphold a culture of transparency and participatory governance if they win the May 9 elections, as they officially began their campaign for the two highest elective posts of the land.

"Ito ang diwa ng ating laban. Nasa katapatan ang susi ng tagumpay sa layuning ito (This is the essence of our battle. Honesty is the key to success in this endeavor),” Robredo said in her speech during the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TROPA) proclamation rally in her hometown in Naga City, Camarines Sur on Tuesday night.

Robredo said she chose to launch her presidential bid in the Bicol region as she saw how it witnessed a significant shift in governance for the betterment of the people.

"Dito ko sa Naga nakita na ang luma at bulok na klase ng pulitika, kayang talunin ng matino, mahusay, masipag, at makataong pamamahala. Dito nagtiwala ang tao sa lider na nakikiisa sa kaniya. Dito may tinig ang karaniwang mamamayan, hindi lamang tuwing halalan kundi sa mismong pamahalaan. Dito ang puwang para sa katiwalian, aktibong pinatitigil ng pakikilahok at bayanihan (Here in Naga, I saw that the old and rotten class of politics could be defeated by sober, efficient, hardworking, and humane governance. Here, the people trust the leaders who are one with them. Here, the common people have a voice, not only during elections but in the government itself. Here, corruption is actively stopped by participation and bayanihan)," she said.

Robredo vowed to form a government that would lead by example, especially in going after those who abuse their power and in prioritizing the people's welfare, through their campaign slogan “Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat" (Honest Government, a Better Life for All).

"Magtatatag tayo ng gobyerno na handang makinig sa inyong mga hinaing at gagamitin ang inyong karanasan bilang batayan ng kanyang mga hakbang, isang pamahalaang aalagaan ang kaban ng bayan at gagamitin ito para sa ikabubuti mo lagi. Isang pamahalaang magmamadaling sumaklolo pag dumaing ka. Makikipag-puyatan para mapaginhawa ka. Lulusong sa baha para iahon ka. Susuutan natin ng tsinelas ang gobyerno at patatawarin sa mga pilapil papunta sa iyo. Sa ating pamamahala, laylayan ang magiging bagong sentro (We will establish a government that is ready to listen to your grievances and use your experience as the basis for its measures. A government that will take care of the treasury and uses it for the people's welfare. A government that will be quick to aid you when you cry for help, stay up at night to keep you comfortable, wade into the floods to save you. We will make the government wear slippers and cross the fields just to reach the people. Under our administration, those at the bottom of society will be at the center of our governance)," she said.

On the other hand, Pangilinan rallied the people to use their votes in the May 2022 polls to elect leaders who have a track record of honest public service and who will lead Filipinos out of the pandemic and uplift both economic recovery and public health.

He said Robredo, through her Angat Buhay Program, has helped hundreds of thousands, while the Sagip Saka Law that he passed, used billions of pesos worth of government funds to buy directly from farmers and fisherfolk to increase their income.

Yan ang aming record na kung kami’y palarin ay palalawigin pa natin. Iyong mga naiiwanan, uunahin natin. Iyong mga kapos, uunahin natin (That is our record. If we win, we will extend the programs. Those who are being left behind, those who are lacking, we will prioritize them),” Pangilinan added.

Clad in pink shirts, supporters greeted the tandem and their senatorial candidates – former Ifugao congressman Teddy Baguilat, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former senator Antonio Trillianes IV, lawyer Alex Lacson, and senators Richard Gordon and Risa Hontiveros.

Detained Senator Leila de Lima, meanwhile, gave a video message for the event. She was represented by her counsel Dino de Leon.

Other senatorial candidates who were adopted by the tandem are labor leader Sonny Matula, former Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, and senators Joel Villanueva and Juan Miguel Zubiri. (PNA)