09 May 2007

'Ipadagos an laban!'

LAST NIGHT'S indignation rally -- and Team Naga's veritable miting de avance -- at Plaza Quezon started at around 5:30 pm and ended more than three hours later, punctuated by two songs that celebrated Naga Pride and Will to Fight.

Practically all throughout the time, thousands from various walks of life who answered Mayor Robredo's call stood their ground -- sometimes taking a seat here, a quick breather there -- and waited for the mayor's address.

The battery of sectoral representatives and surprise guests who took turns in lambasting President Arroyo, Rep. Luis Villafuerte and Comelec Commissioners Romeo Brawner and Nicodemo Ferrer contributed to a rather lengthy proceeding.

The latter include Senate aspirant Sonia Roco, the late Raul's widow, and first district contender Sabas "Abang" Mabulo, who is up against the president's son Dato. The latter all but confirmed Manolo's latest post about a military that has taken Dato's side.

Interesting highlights included the verse penned by Bicol Mail columnist Levi "Ilampog, Ilabay" Aureus, a descendant of Naga's first mayor, the World War II guerilla leader Leon Aureus, who poked fun on the Villafuertes' own chinese lineage.

Another was Metro Naga Chamber's Abet Bercasio, whose fiery speech called on Naguenos and Camarinenses to express their disgust with what is happening in three punishing ways: (1) to reelect Naga's entire ticket, starting from Robredo down to his last councilor; (2) to send Sulpicio "Cho" Roco, Jr. back to Congress, replacing incumbent Luis Villafuerte; and (3) to send Dato Arroyo back to earth by giving 'Abang' Mabulo the mandate to represent Camarines Sur's first district in Congress.

The most reasoned -- but I think one of the most telling -- message however came from Ateneo de Naga University president Joel Tabora, read on his behalf by VP for Academic Affairs Rebecca Torres. Among others, Tabora expressed deep indignation over the politically motivated Comelec move unseating Robredo, which, if carried out, effectively reduces the May 14 polls as a process of elimination, not an election.

At around 8 pm past, Mayor Robredo's turn finally came. Echoing his address to City Hall employees the other day, the embattled mayor underscored the following key messages:

  1. to carry on with the fight ("ipadagos an laban!");
  2. to expand the "Ubos kun ubos, gabos kun gabos" mandate by including congressional aspirant Roco in the winning slate, in the process ousting Villafuerte; and
  3. to vote only "Robredo" as insurance, especially in the worst-case scenario where he is disqualified by Comelec as widely feared, leaving Leni as the team's standard bearer.
The same message is echoed in these Inquirer and PCIJ articles; another related story concerns the AIM manifesto signing on Robredo's behalf scheduled at 3 pm today.


Anonymous said...

The president of Ateneo de Naga University is so right in saying that Gloria Arroyo is resorting to the process of elimination, not election. They tried it with Mayor Binay and this time with Jesse Robredo. But it will be a costly undoing as their despicable acts are now reverberating throughout the country. It is the best campaign pitch by the opposition courtesy of the administration. Ito ngayon ang magtutulak upang magkaisa at ipadama kay Mrs. Arroyos ang pagkasuklam sa kanya ng higit na maraming mamamayan. Ilang araw na lang ang hihintayin. Magaalsa ang buong Bicol. Ibasura si Villafuerte at lahat na kakampi ni Mrs. Arroyo. Oust the Villafuertes, pakanin ng alikabok si Dato Arroyo, huwag matakot sa kanyang ermat.

Sa Naga City, si Robredo ang isulat sa balota. Hindi lang siya dangal ng Naga at Bicolandia, dangal siya ng buong bansa.