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‘We cannot be silenced’: Pink ribbons back in Zamboanga City; mural painted in support of Leni-Kiko

The pink ribbons are now back in Zamboanga City following the reported takedown of materials by traffic enforcers last Friday.


Photo credits: Team Leni Robredo in Zamboanga


According to Chester Tolentino, chairperson of Team Leni Robredo in Zamboanga, the pink ribbons symbolize their protest to have a better future for the country.


“Itong mga pink ribbons na ito ay hindi lamang basta-bastang mga ribbons, kundi ito’y nagsisimbolo ng aming pag-asa, ng aming protesta para magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan ang aming mga kapuwa,” said Tolentino.


He said it broke their hearts seeing the traffic enforcers cutting materials that the volunteers put and exerted effort on.


“Some ribbons actually tied in private properties were removed. Actually, nagsisimbolo 'to ng aming pagnanasa na magkaroon ng isang matinong leader… Kasama rin namin ‘yong mga nanay rin na magtali noon kasi gusto rin nilang mangarap ng magandang kinabukasan sa kanilang mga anak,” Tolentino said.


According to Office of the Vice President spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, supporters have complained about the incident that happened last Wednesday and Thursday morning.


“Umabot sa amin ang mga balitang tinatanggal ang mga poster, tarp, at iba pang materyales na nagpapahayag ng suporta kay VP Leni,” Gutierrez said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.


Gutierrez said that this is a form of repression about people’s rights to support a candidate in a democratic country.


“Isa itong paglabag sa karapatan ng lahat ng Pilipino na malayang ipahayag ang suporta nila sa isang kandidato at hindi dapat ginagawa ninuman, lalo na sa isang demokratikong bansa tulad ng Pilipinas,” he said.


Toletino said there was a verbal agreement with the mayor before the ribbons were removed. The local government then confirmed that they removed the ribbons by mistake.


The group decided to put back the materials and said that the incident awakened in them a stronger desire to express and fight for what they believed in.


“Gusto naming ipakita na hindi matitinag ang aming mga ninanais para sa ating bansa at para sa siyudad de Zamboanga… Our spirits will never be dampened. We will never be silenced. We will never be suppressed. Lalaban kami nang payapa, lalaban kami nang patas dahil naniniwala kami na sa bandang huli, ang hustisya ang mananaig,” said Tolentino.


“We definitely hunger for good governance. We’re talking about our rights, our freedom, and our future. We’re doing this for everyone and for the love of our country,” added Tolentino.


To come out louder of their support, the group also painted an entire wall of a mural for the good governance of Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan with the Zamboangueño Artists for Leni.


The youth and volunteers with Zamboangueño Lawyers for Leni even trekked along Vitaliano Agan Avenue armed with their spirit to continue the activity. Joselle Dela Cruz


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