by Frencie Carreon
Supporters of Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo from Zamboanga Sibugay join the pink caravan on November 7. Photo courtesy of CyberCT Photography.
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Ramon Magsaysay Foundation 2021 awardee Roberto Ballon joined the Zamboanga Sibugay caravan in support for Vice President Leni Robredo’s candidacy for the Presidency on Saturday morning, November 6. In an interview on November 7 with Dr. Robert Gonzales, head of the informally organized Zamboanga Sibugay for Leni 2022, a movement themed in pink, he said supporters voluntarily joined the caravan in their bikes, motorcycles and vehicles that moved around the province in support for Robredo, who seeks the presidency in May 2022. Ballon, known as ‘Ka Dodoy,’ said, he believed in Robredo’s leadership as she supported the livelihood of fisherfolk among whom he is one. He said, technical aspects of the agri-livelihood program and some financial assistance that led the fisherfolk have harvests of fishponds that helped them survive the pandemic with their families. Volunteers and supporters wore pink “Let Leni Lead” and “Leni-Kiko” T-shirts, and face masks in observance of health protocols against COVID-19. “Over 150 bikers, over 100 motorcyclists, more than a hundred and twentyfive tricycle drivers joined the pink caravan, and it was overwhelming,” Gonzales said, adding that it was the “first time that riders participated on their own, and it was a long pink line, as at least forty private vehicles joined, even those who did not preregister.” The numbers he said were only of those who pre-registered, as more vehicles joined along the way, Gonzales said. Members of the Magdalo Party-list came from Kabasalan Municipality were seen joining the caravan as the vehicles passed by the town along the highway. Convenor Raul Gatinao said it was a unique sight. “Sa iya lang nakita ang dako’g pagtan-aw ni Vice President Robredo sa rural communities. Gatan-aw sa amo sa grassroots ug sa among kaugmaon (It is only with her that we saw her regard for the rural communities. She looked at us in the grassroots and our future),” Ka Dodoy said in another phone interview, as he narrated that there were trainings and technical know-how that were more valuable to them. “Daghan sya’g mga initiatibo sa rural areas nga dako’g tabang. Ganaog sya sa layo nga grupo, sa mga pobre sa iyang porograma nga Angat Buhay. Para gyud sa masa, sa mga gapangisda like me, ug bisan sa mga mag-uuma, ganahan mi sa iyang approach (She has many initiatives in the rural areas that are of big help. She goes down to faraway groups, to the poor with her Angat Buhay program. For thd masses, for fishermen like me, and even for farmers, we like her approach),” Ka Dodoy said. (Frencie Carreon)