MASBATE CITY, Jan. 17 (PNA) -– Leni G. Robredo, Liberal Party’s candidate for vice president, visited Masbate province during the birthday celebration of San Fernando Municipal Mayor Narciso “Bong” Bravo on Friday to introduce herself to and bond with the Masbateños.
Bravo, who is a candidate for governor in Masbate, celebrated his 52nd birthday by, among others, having Robredo on the occasion at his residence in Circle E, Barangay Tugbo, Masbate City.
The birthday bash was attended by about 6,000 supporters of Robredo and Bravo.
“My visit in Masbate is to introduce myself because I am not well-known to you, Masbateños,” Robredo said.
A boulevard along the reclaimed area of the city has been named after her husband, former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, whose plane crashed in the sea off the shores of the place.
Robredo believed that she stands out among other vice presidentiables because she is the only girl and the only one who has extensive experience working in local villages.
She said her opponents are all senators and have not tried working in the local communities and experienced working directly with the poor people.
“But in my whole life, I have tried serving the local communities and the poor,” the congresswoman of Camarines Sur said.
Robredo said that when her husband was the mayor of Naga City, she was a lawyer but she did not work in a law office, instead she worked as a volunteer lawyer, serving poor litigants without payment.
This, she said, is the reason why she kept on going to Masbate because they have an organization that serves local communities.
“I was assigned to serve Milagros, Mandaon and Balud and visited Masbate every month for three years to do my job,” the lady lawyer said.
Robredo said she had also served not only Masbate but also the rural areas in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
She said that among the Bicolano candidates, she is the only candidate who was born and grew up here in Bicol.
The former lawmaker said she worked, bore all of her children and sent them to school in Bicol.
Robredo stressed that her visit in every place is different from others as she goes up the stage to introduce herself because she is not that well-known to people.
She said that for three years that she had been working in Masbate and was assigned in one of the projects of the Plan International, she saw a lot of things to change in Masbate which were no longer advantageous such as the problems in the environment and infrastructures.
Governance needs to be changed which, according to her, is a significant thing for the development of the province.
“Though Masbate is climbing up, but not that too much” she said.
Aside from infrastructure and environment, illegal drug is also a big problem in Masbate, she noted.
Transportation also has to be elevated like the airport and sea vessel ports, Robredo said.
“It’s been a long time that the airport capabilities were not properly utilized because it lacks the upgrading and the ports here needs also some improvement and upgrading,” the Bicolana candidate for vice president said.
“We also dream of having an interconnected island, including Catanduanes and Masbate, to link the two islands to mainland Bicol,” she added.
The mayors who attended the celebration and met Robredo were Rowena Tuason of Masbate City, Mayor Ben Espiloy of Monreal, Charlie Yuson III of Batuan, Percival Castillo of Mobo, Rudy Alvarez Sr. of Palanas, Natividad Magbalon of Milagros and Zacarina Lazaro of San Pascual.
Also around were Gov. Vince Revil, Vice Gov. Kaye Revil, former Mayor Beth Llamado, ABC president Socrates Tuason, City Councilor Leilah Placer, Andre Diez and other local officials of Masbate who threw their support for Robredo and Bravo.
All village officials of Masbate City were present during the celebration. (PNA) SCS/FGS/NBT/CBD/PJN