‘Cavite is pink’: 47,000 Robredo supporters jampack Gen Tri grand rally

In a show of force, tens of thousands of supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo gathered at the General Trias sports complex in vote-rich Cavite — a province where influential political clans back the candidacy of her fiercest rival Bongbong Marcos Jr.

More than 47,000 supporters of presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo painted Cavite, the land of the brave, pink as they filled the General Trias Sports Park in the vote-rich province on March 4.

Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo’s official Facebook page

Robredo’s most-recent political rally in Cavite is described as her biggest campaign sortie so far, outnumbering the 45,000 crowd of her supporters dubbed as ‘Kakampinks’ in Iloilo.

HINDI BAWAL ANG DRONE SA CAVITE Tulad ng napakaraming pagkakataon sa ating kasaysayan, ang mga Caviteño ay muling…

Posted by Kiko Pangilinan on Friday, March 4, 2022

In the morning, Robredo and running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan attended mini events in Carmona, Silang, Dasmariñas City, Imus City, Kawit, Noveleta, Rosario, and Tanza. 

Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo’s official Facebook page

Survey frontrunner Bongbong Marcos Jr., who is Robredo’s archrival, carried Cavite in the 2016 elections. The former senator, now running for president, once again enjoys the backing of the Remullas and the Revillas — the province’s influential political clans.

Governor Jonvic Remulla is so confident that Marcos will repeat his victory in Cavite that he even described the province as a “country” of the late dictator’s son. 

READ: Remulla says Cavite a Marcos ‘country’

Remulla had promised Marcos of delivering 800,000 votes for him in Cavite, a claim rejected by some Kakampinks with their battlecry “800K minus one.”

A Kakampink’s poster showing Remulla’s now-deleted Twitter poll after Robredo’s wide lead against rivals. Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo’s official Facebook page

‘When there’s a will, there’s a way’

At night, Kakampinks and even some reporters had to walk for several kilometers just to reach the venue due to bumper-to-bumper traffic exacerbated by road repairs. 

Senatorial candidates under the Leni-Kiko tandem addressed the crowd who have been there as early as noon. They include Sonny Trillanes, Risa Hontiveros, Richard Gordon, Sonny Matula, Alex Lacson, and Chel Diokno. 

The sea of pink-clad supporters sang along with the performances of OPM bands Mayonnaise and Rivermaya as well as of other local celebrities who volunteered for the campaign. 

#CaviteIsPink 🌷🌸💖

Posted by Mayonnaise on Saturday, March 5, 2022

Two hours into the grand rally, Robredo has yet to arrive as she was also stuck in heavy traffic along Arnaldo Highway. But even in this difficult moment, she still managed to show up and keep her commitments.

Robredo had to hop on a motorcycle that brought her to the arena past 8:45 pm. Her much-awaited presence drew deafening cheers from the audience. 

Organizers also had difficulty in livestreaming the program due to signal connection issues at the venue. However, #CaviteIsPink and #800KMinusOne still trended on Twitter with over 60,000 tweets. 

Robredo: ‘True power rests in the hands of ordinary Caviteños’ 

An emotional Kerby Salazar, a provincial board member, and Robredo’s longtime friend, introduced her to the mammoth of crowd. 

“Ma’am, ma’am, narito ang Cavite! Hindi ka iiwan, hindi ka pababayaan, at lagi kang ipaglalaban,” said a teary-eyed Salazar, eliciting cheers and applause. 

Screengrab from Kerby Salazar’s FB video

During her speech, Robredo expressed her gratitude to the Kakampinks, organizers, volunteers, and her local political allies for the outpour of their support.

“Kung ang lakas na pinapakita niyo po ngayong gabi, ganito pa din ang lakas na ipapakita natin hanggang Mayo 9, mananalo po tayo,” she said. “Ang tunay na kapangyarihan, nasa kamay ng ordinaryong Caviteño!” 

Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo’s official Facebook page

Attendees repeatedly chanted “Hindi kami bayad!” in an apparent anticipation of allegations from other camps trying to downplay their efforts. 

And just two days after the event, #BoyingSinungaling topped the trending topics on Twitter after Jonvic’s brother and 7th District Representative Boying Remulla reportedly red-tagged and accused the participants of getting paid of P500 each. 

Interestingly, Jonvic faced a disqualification case when he ran as governor in 2019 for alleged vote-buying which he had described as a “manufactured” complaint. 

Another presidential aspirant and senator Ping Lacson is also being slammed after seemingly amplifying Remulla’s claim. Cavite is a known bailiwick of Lacson, who is lagging behind his rivals in pre-election surveys. 

Meanwhile, Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez denied Remulla’s accusation, saying the supporters themselves are even the ones who are spending for the campaign. 

“Ang hirap kasi sa ibang politiko, siguro nakagawian na nila na dun sa mga rally nila na hakot ang kailangang gawin so iniisip nila na yun lang ang tanging paraan para magkaroon ng tao,” said Gutierrez. 

The group Robredo People’s Council – Cavite also released a statement on Sunday night refuting Remulla and Lacson’s “malicious, derogatory, irresponsible, and baseless” remarks.

“Una, walang hinakot at binayaran ng P500 kapalit ang paglahok sa nasabing rally…Hindi kailangan may bayad, ang mga Caviteño ay tapat at may dignidad,” it said.

“Pangalawa, mapinsala ang bintang na ang mga kabataan o estudyante na lumahok ay aktibista, makakaliwa, at sinamay ng National Democratic Front,” it added. “[Ito ay] sadyang makapaminsala sa moral at dignidad ng mga kabataang Caviteño na ang nais lamang ay iwasto ang pamamalakad ng ating pamahalaan.”

Thumbnail screengrab from Kerby Salazar’s FB video

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