More Mindanao-based groups throw their support behind Leni-Kiko tandem

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Once supporters of different presidential and vice presidential candidates, several prominent local groups in Mindanao have announced their decision to switch their support in favor of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

The Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM), First Community Cooperatives Foundation, Mindanao Women Advocacy, and IMK Leni para sa Bayan all expressed their support for the tandem currently running second in the polls.

The groups’ representatives raised Pangilinan’s hands in Cagayan de Oro City.

The First Community Cooperatives Foundation expressed that they have been meeting with cooperative leaders and discussed why it was important for them to choose which candidates they would support, adding that this was the chance to have a new kind of politics.

Another group, the Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance, a non-profit organization that provides capacity-building programs for Muslim women, also announced that it was backing the Robredo-Pangilinan ticket.

“Together, with our more than 25,000 members composed of women Muslims and Christians, and our council’s national officers, regional and provincial directors, we, the Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance (MWAGG), signify our strong support for VP Leni and Senator Kiko Pangilinan,” Jalilah Sarip, MWAGG secretary-general, said.

The endorsement of the Mindanao-based groups is important, largely because the major island is seen as a political bailiwick of the Davao-based Dutertes, with Sara sitting as the current mayor of Davao City, Mindanao’s largest and most populous city.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said that Robredo is “the only person who can lead our country now,” and added that Pangilinan was the best candidate to truly support a Robredo presidency.

“(Robredo) cannot do it alone, and needs support. So Kiko Pangilinan is important as her vice president,” he said.

“Consult your higher officials and your peers. Chemistry is important,” the mayor added, noting that the country needs an administration that can unite people and can focus on the problems the country is dealing with.

Meanwhile, Pangilinan appealed to Mindanao-based voters to elect someone who will prioritize agriculture — which their region would benefit from.

“Let us vote for someone who has a track record in agriculture, and who has been prioritizing agriculture because Mindanao will greatly benefit as the island has a huge potential for agriculture. Mindanao will play a very important role in addressing poverty and hunger,” he said.

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