ELECTIONS 2022: Big stars endorse Leni-Kiko in Pasay Rally

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In this photo taken on April 23, 2022, Philippine Vice President and opposition presidential candidate Leni Robredo greets supporters during a campaign rally coinciding with her birthday in Pasay, suburban Manila. Famous celebrities and other big stars endorsed the Leni-Kiko ticket for the national elections. (Photo by TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)
In this photo taken on April 23, 2022, Philippine Vice President and opposition presidential candidate Leni Robredo greets supporters during a campaign rally coinciding with her birthday in Pasay, suburban Manila. Famous celebrities and other big stars endorsed the Leni-Kiko ticket for the national elections. (Photo by TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)

For the 412,000 Kakampinks who showed up on Macapagal Ave. and more than 200,000. live viewers who tuned in from their homes, Saturday (April 23) was a night of shining big stars as several prominent celebrities endorse the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

John Arcilla, who portrayed national hero Antonio Luna in the acclaimed film "Heneral Luna", delivered an impassioned speech calling on every Filipino to rally behind Robredo.

Nandito tayo dahil mahal natin ang Pilipinas,” he said. “Lahat ng kulay ay nandito: asul, dilaw, pula, berde, rosas, at kayumanggi. Tayo ang sambayanang Pilipino. Mahal natin ang ating bayan, iniibig natin ang ating bandila, at may takot tayo sa Diyos,” Arcilla said.

(We are here because we love the Philippines. All colors are here: blue, yellow, red, green, pink, and brown. We are the Filipino people. We love our country, we adore our flag, and we fear God.)

Hindi natin sinasamba si Leni Robredo. Siya po ay aming sinasamahan pagkat sinasamahan niya ang sambayanang Pilipino,” he added added.

(We do not glorify Leni Robredo. We stand with her because she also stands with us Filipinos.)

He also said that the Vice President understands the importance of constructive criticism and does not view it as a form of subversion against the government.

Hindi po siya natatakot na punahin. Nais po niyang tawagin ang kanyang atensyon sapagkat alam niya na ang pagpuna ay pagmamahal sa bayan. Ang pagpuna ay ating tungkulin bilang nagbabayad ng buwis. Ang pagpuna sa gobyerno ay pagmamahal at bahagi ng ating karapatan bilang mamamayang Pilipino. At alam na alam po ‘yun ni Leni Robredo,” he said.

(She is not afraid to be criticized. She wants to be called out for attention because she knows that criticism is love for the country. Criticism is our duty as taxpayers. Criticizing the government is love and part of our rights as Filipino citizens. And Leni Robredo knows that very well.)

Vice Ganda (center) at the campaign rally of Leni Robredo and her running Francis
Vice Ganda (center) at the campaign rally of Leni Robredo and her running Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan in Pasay City, Philippines April 23, 2022. (Source: VP Leni Robredo/Facebook)

The highlight of the night is "unkabogable" star and “It’s Showtime” host Vice Ganda who, after weeks of speculations, have finally endorsed Robredo. They emphasized in their speech the need for the Filipinos to make the right decision and elect someone who will champion the will of the people.

Kay Leni Robredo, tayo ang panalo. Kay Leni Robredo, tama tayo. So bakit hindi natin kukunin ang pagkakataon na ito para gumanda at gumawa ng desisyon na tama,” Vice Ganda said. “Tayo naman ang manalo. Si Leni Robredo ang magpapanalo sa atin.

(If we are for Leni Robredo, then we are the winners. If we are for Leni Robredo, then we are right. So why would we not get this chance to make our lives good and to decide right. It’s about time that we Filipinos win. And Leni Robredo will win it for us.)

Presidential candidate Leni Robredo shares an embrace with Gary Valenciano on stage during her campaign rally in Pasay City, Philippines April 23, 2022. (Source: VP Leni Robredo/Facebook)
Presidential candidate Leni Robredo shares an embrace with Gary Valenciano on stage during her campaign rally in Pasay City, Philippines April 23, 2022. (Source: VP Leni Robredo/Facebook)

Among the stars who have also endorsed the Leni-Kiko tandem were “Diamond Star” Maricel Soriano, who appeared on stage with “Megastar” Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, “Asia’s Songbird” Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and her husband Ogie Alcasid, “Mr. Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano, Janno Gibbs, among many others.

Although not present in the rally, Kathryn Bernardo and Liza Soberano have also delivered a recorded message in support of Robredo.

Ang plano ko sa May 9, gawing pangulo si Leni Robredo. Sana kayo rin,” Bernardo said, after enumerating her list of qualities that a good leader should have, which she clearly sees in Robredo. Her loveteam, Daniel Padilla, whose mother is running in a partylist under the Uniteam, is also supporting Robredo.

(My plan on May 9 is to make Leni Robredo the next president. I hope you do it as well.)

“As a woman, it makes me extremely proud to see all that you have achieved and all that you bravely dream of doing for our country,” Soberano said.

Saturday’s rally is the largest among the rallies of the Leni-Kiko campaign, even exceeding the number of attendees of President Rodrigo Duterte’s miting de avance back in 2016.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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