Liberal Party (LP) Vice Presidential candidate Leni Robredo won’t compromise her staunch anti-Martial Law stance to get votes in the Solid North—the bailiwick of her rival Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Robredo, a Camarines Sur representative, paid a visit to Laoag and Candon in Ilocos Norte, and in Vigan, Ilocos Sur in what she described as an effort to present an alternative to the Ilocanos who are known sympathizers of Marcos.
The so-called Solid North is comprised of Region 1, Region 2 and pockets of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
“I won’t lose anything if I try to introduce myself here, tell them where I stand on issues. I cannot have it any other way. We can’t sugarcoat our convictions because if we do, that won’t be myself anymore. That’s why you can notice that my answers are straightforward even though I am aware that there will be people who won’t be in favor of my stance,” Robredo pointed out.
In the last Pulse Asia survey, Robredo has been closing in on Marcos and even frontrunner Sen. Francis Escudero. She scored 21 percent—only behind by a whisker to Marcos, Jr.’s 22 percent. Escudero topped the field with 25 percent.
Marcos, Jr., who hails from Ilocos Norte, is the son of the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos who declared Martial Law in September 1972. At least 76,000 victims of human rights violations, including torture, under the Martial Law regime are still awaiting remuneration under the Marcos compensation law to this day.
“I can’t flex my answers just to court votes. It is better if I know where I stand because if I change that, what would happen to my principles? This is what I believe in. If people do not agree with that, then it’s unfortunate. But I’d rather be myself,” Robredo, a lawyer, argued.
In her Solid North visit, Robredo meet the Carmelite nuns in Laoag City, visited Northwestern University, graced the National Women’s Month celebration in Candon
Civic Center, paid a courtesy call on Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson and joined Women’s Month’s celebration at the Vigan City Hall.
But despite the visit, the wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo admits that she has tempered expectations on the Solid North.
“Of course, it worries me because the Solid North has been there since time immemorial. But I would say it is worth giving a try to present an alternative,” Robredo said.
“We have very realistic expectations [here in Solid North]. I just want to present myself to the voters, and it is up for them to decide. It is tougher if you did not even try to offer yourself,” Robredo added.