By Jun NucumSAN FRANCISCO – More participants attended the second “Biyahe ni Leni” caravan in the San Francisco Bay Area as Filipinos coming from Vallejo, Antioch, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Bruno, among others, attended dressed in pink attires.About 100 vehicles joined the caravan gathering steam as the election period also heats up and more warm bodies were also noted in support of the presidential and vice-presidential campaign of Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.The Robredo supporters later assembled for a motorcade around the Daly City, South San Francisco, Colma and San Bruno area.
According to organizer Filipino American Human Rights alliance (FAHRA), the first and second caravan were part of the synchronized pink caravan in the whole North America’ including three cities in the US and seven in Canada.
“The bigger turnout was a result of the call for action and for unity which saw emboldened OFWs in the light of the alliance of (Ferdinand Bongbong) Marcos and (Sara) Duterte, both son and daughter of alleged dictators and alleged direct beneficiaries of the plunder and atrocities of their fathers,” said FAHRA leader Ago Pedalizo.Pedalizo said that VP Leni has no one else to lean on but the people as only a direct political intervention of the people can stop the greed for power and plunder of the opponents in the 2022 election.
“The people are saying enough with killings, enough with corruption, enough with dynasty. Bring back democracy in the Philippines,” said Pedalizo.
At the rally itself before the caravan took off, participants heard speeches from prominent leaders and other supporters championing the causes that the Robredo-Pangilinan ticket stands for. They also staged a mini-picket rally forming a circle chanting anti-Duterte and Marcos slogans while noting the good deeds of Robredo. .
FAHRA and US Pinoy for Good Government leader Rad Abarrientos said he was glad for a “very successful event today where we had a welcome by the Filipino Americans who flashed the Laban L-sign shouting Leni kami in and around the vicinity.”“I really fear that the evils in the Philippines will steal this election. They are already putting in place all the necessary pieces and bits to ensure victory in this coming electoral exercise for the Tandem team of Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte Carpio (BBM.SDC).We should bring back good governance, eradicate graft and corruption and elect the best President that is righteous and just to his people,” Abarrientos said.Abarrientos admitted that he alone would probably be contented already with his wholesome and peaceful life here in the US ”but I am doing this for just one reason. To make a better Philippines, where I could be proud to the whole world… this is for my country, the Philippines.”Akbayan leader Edwin Batongbacal reminded everyone of the danger in having back the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos to power.“They are running only for their own selfish ends. With the decision of Leni Roredo to run, the terrain of election has changed. We now have a fight in our hand. We now have a struggle to work on. We now have someone who we can really support for the good of the country,” Batongbacal said.
Long-time activist Atty. Rodel Rodis updated participants on their crusade against alleged Duterte crony from Davao Dennis Uy who is reportedly now reaping the fruit of his Malampaya deal from a mere $100 investment and now supposedly “earning $1.13 million per day.”
“There has not been a crony worse than this! Dennis Uy will also supply all the election equipment needed by COMELEC after bagging the contract worth $650 million,” Rodis said. “Now, even the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, a conservative group, has been questioning the deal as very disadvantageous to the country. if Marcos and Sara Duterte win, Dennis Uy will corner more sweetheart deals and happy days will continue for Uy.”
Rodis said that through Uy, China is also benefitting as China is allegedly funding all of Dennis Uy’s deals and in the process of giving Uy control of Malampaya, in Palawan, the Philippines is actually giving China control of the West Philippine Sea.
Another leader, Red Reyes, sought to inform voters more about Robredo and her achievements in office.
“Many of our fellow Filipinos do not really know much about VP Leni, a lawyer, UP Economics graduate, has the most accomplishment and has achieved a lot given the very limited budget given her OVP office which has been best audited by Commission on Audit three years in a row,” Reyes said.
Reyes added that VP Leni was the one who really helped a lot of those in the fringes of society and no one can compare her with current public officials in terms of transparency and integrity.
In an earlier statement, FAHRA-USA declared that “the political rigmarole and bare-faced lies of “political substitution” has been formalized by the Du30 COMELEC and was completed with the alliance of Ferdinand Marcos Junior and Sara Duterte.”.
“It afforded our people to give them a dose of their own medicine through the ballot. We have a chance to REJECT three political dynasites, all at once in the May 2022 Elections,” it added.
FAHRA called on all Filipinos to reject the MAD Dynasties that have ravaged the country for more than 75 years: the Marcoses of Ilocos, the Macapagal-Arroyos of Pampanga and the Duterteś of Davao City.
“If its their historical destiny to rule over the people through martial law, cheating and political machinations, then it is our historical duty to overthrow them thru the ballot, by democratic process in the May 2022 Elections,” FAHRA stated.Caravan organizers plan to expand mobilization in the whole SF Bay Area to see micro-mobilizations in different cities like SF, Oakland, San Jose, Hayward, Santa Rosa and smaller cities, and culminating in a bigger caravan on Dec 12 in time for International Human Rights Day.