MANILA, Philippines — The massive turnout of volunteer-supporters in the Leni-Kiko rallies is a solid indication that Vice President Leni Robredo’s campaign has the momentum, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said on Monday.
“We are more than convinced by now that the huge turnout of people who cheered and welcomed Leni and Kiko in our provincial sorties is a strong indication of the people’s real choices in the ongoing political campaign,” Drilon said.
Drilon said that no less than Robredo and her running mate vice presidential bet Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan were extremely surprised by the huge turnouts of supporters in their recent political rallies in Naga, Quezon City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Manila, Cavite, and Bulacan.
The Robredo campaign also generated huge rallies, surprisingly, in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao, he added.
Drilon said the massive turnout in Leni-Kiko rallies “shows a huge disconnect between survey results and the true sentiment of the people on the ground.”
“Surveys give us numbers, but sorties and rallies make us feel the sentiments and the emotion of the people. We are seeing a growing public support for the candidacy of Vice President Robredo,” he said.
“This huge turnout proves that the Leni-Kiko campaign is gaining ground all over the country. It speaks doubly louder than those surveys being pushed by certain firms,” Drilon, a staunch supporter of the Leni-Kiko tandem, said.
“It’s a matter of keeping up the momentum for Robredo up to the last day of the campaign. I believe Robredo’s strong showing in the presidential debates has further generated support for her presidential run,” Drilon emphasized.
The veteran senator thus appealed to the public to not be swayed by surveys and propaganda.
Drilon said the spirit of volunteerism in their campaign has reached a fever pitch as the public has seen in the Leni-Kiko rallies.
“Without a doubt, the Leni-Kiko campaign has turned into a people’s movement nationwide,” Drilon added.
Drilon noted that Robredo did not expect the massive crowds since most of the rally organizers were volunteers from the private sector, civil society organizations and youth volunteer groups who did not have the support of local traditional political kingpins.
The huge turnout at Robredo’s political rallies in Iloilo and Cavite, the country’s second most vote-rich province, was record-breaking. Another surprisingly huge rally was held in Bulacan Sunday.
Drilon, an Ilonggo, said the crowd at the Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz District last Feb. 25 was the biggest he has seen in a political gathering in Iloilo in his 30 years in government.
Robredo earlier said she was unfazed by survey results showing that her rival, presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was leading her by a large margin in the presidential pre-election polls.
Robredo recalled her come-from-behind victory in 2016 when she started out with single-digit voter preference and awareness ratings. It was only in March of that year when Robredo rose to number three. By April, she was already topping the surveys, her numbers were a statistical tie with Marcos.
Robredo, the underdog of 2016, would eventually claim victory and become Vice President.