Lenny Arroyo has 220,000 supporters in Bellevue

Aerial view of Vice President Lenny Robredos campaign rally in Pampanga on April 9 – VP Lenny Robredo FB Page

By Kyle Aristophier T. Atienja, Reporter
And Jasper Emerald G. Tan

Vice-President Maria Leoner “Lenny” G. Robredo drew more than 200,000 supporters at a rally in the northern Philippine province of Pampanga on Saturday – the largest crowd in his presidential campaign to date.

Opposition candidates have been urging supporters in the province – former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Bellewick, who is running against rival Ferdinand “Bambang” R. Marcos has backed Jr. – voting for him in the May 9 presidential election to take the initiative in their doorsteps to convince more undecided voters.

Mrs. Robredo is ranked No. 2 in most opinion polls by the President, according to the late dictator Ferdinand E. Son of Marcos and named.

As many as 220,000 people attended the rally on Saturday, his office said in a statement over the weekend, citing police information.

“It’s very timely for people to educate others and fight against fake news,” said Dale Jewel Granados, 27, who missed. Robredo took part in the political sort, one of them said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

He said he was using social media to campaign for his presidential bet, and that his family and relatives, including Mrs. Robredo and his vice-presidential running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan’s opposition party agreed to vote

“The country has not seen anything like the Leni-Kiko campaign and the related volunteers,” said Jean Ensinas-Franco, a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines, in a messenger chat.

“If Lenny and Kiko win, it will definitely change the campaign landscape in the future,” he said, adding that most of Ms Robredo’s supporters are young.

The opposition, which has criticized President Rodrigo and Duterte’s stance on the South China Sea dispute, has also been welcomed by supporters in Aurora Bale, another province in central Luzon.

Before visiting Central Luzon, they attended a campaign rally in Dagupan City, Pangasinan Province, with more than 60,000 supporters.

Pampanga, Aurora and Pangisinan are part of the so-called Solid North, a regional bloc in the northern Philippines known for supporting the Marcos.

“There is momentum for the Robredo-Pangilinan team, with large gatherings and small townhall discussions and door-to-door campaigns,” said Maria Ella. Atienza, who also teaches political science at UP, said in a Viber message

“Their lack of centralized publicity is offset by the huge volunteerism of many supporters,” he added. “Similarly, the campaign is being conducted as a social movement, not as a traditional party campaign.”

Ms Atienza said Ms Robredo should keep pace until election day “because of the strong resources of the pioneers based on public opinion polls.” The analyst said he should refer to indecisive voters and monitor campaign activities, actual elections and subsequent counts.

“Count all areas and sectors, big or small, in terms of number of votes.”

Ms Atienza said traditional politicians could amass wealth, sow misinformation in local campaigns and bribe voters. ‚ÄúSome of these strategies are already being used by local politicians. It’s important to fight these negative propaganda styles. “

Mrs Arroyo last week called on vote-rich Pampanga allies and influential groups to support Mr Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor and President’s daughter Sarah Duterte-Carpio.

Although local politicians typically focus on their survival, their support encourages the campaigning of their support national candidates, Ms. Franco said. “This is the effect of consistent selection.”

Mrs Franco and Mrs Atienza said young voters could be more critical of local approvals.

“More and more voters, not just young people, are becoming more discerning about the performance and loyalty of politicians, both local and national,” she said. “They don’t just vote on the basis of regionalism or local allegiance.”

Two-way race
Mr. Granados, Kampangan Voters said he was not bothered by support for Mrs. Arrow’s pre-administration.

“I am not surprised to learn that most politicians with a record of corruption are against the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem,” he said. “Everything is black and white for me and my decision is clear.”

Mr Marcos maintained his lead in a poll conducted by Pulse Asia Research, Inc. last month, with 56% of Filipinos voting for him. His rating dropped 4 percentage points.

Still in second place was Vice-President Maria Leoner “Lenny” G. Robredo, whose rating has risen nine points to 24%

Pulse Asia conducted the survey March 17-21, after the first official presidential debate that Mr Marcos failed to attend.

In a separate Viber message, Ms Atienza said the presidential race was turning into a two-way contest based on the results of the Pulse Asia vote, with Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isco” M. Domagoso was third He added that he was less likely to be caught because of his few approvals.

He said Mr Domagoso’s followers would not automatically vote for Mr Marcos or Mrs Robredo if he withdrew from the race.

“Most of ISCO’s programs are somewhat similar to those of the current administration and it seems that it is presenting itself as a consistent candidate instead of an opposition party,” he said.

“Those who think they can vote for him may not vote for Vice-President Robredo. If he withdraws, they may not like Bambang Marcos,” he said, adding that the mayor of Manila had attacked Mr Marcos more than Mrs Robredo.

Hansley A. Giuliano, a former professor of political science studying at the University of Nagoya’s Graduate School of International Development, said: Japan. “It’s better to consider Domagoso as a buffer candidate,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

It would be an insult to voters if Mr Domagoso stepped down as president, said Michael Henry L. Usinko, Senior Research Fellow at the Atenio de Manila University Policy Center. “Candidates must finish the race because it is their commitment to the electorate,” he said in an e-mail.

He said the election was “not an executed deal”, with half the voters still unable to decide who to vote for.

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