By Raymund Antonio
Since she has accepted the role of an opposition leader, Vice President Leni Robredo made her first public appearance with other key opposition figures during a youth concert against Charter change held Friday in Quezon City.
At 8 p.m. Robredo emerged from her vehicle, appearing stern and confident, a clear indication that she has indeed taken the mantle of leadership of the pro-democracy forces opposing the Duterte administration.
The crowd burst into cheers and applause and even rang bells to show their “batingaw laban sa ngawngaw” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Vice President attended the GenWe: Tambayan, a concert organized by Kaya Natin! and other organizations to gather young advocates against Cha-cha, joined by Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino.
Quezon City congressmen Jorge Banal and Kit Belmonte, Liberal Party vice president for external affairs Erin Tañada, ex-solicitor general Florin Hilbay, and former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales also graced the event.
A lawyer who defended the rural poor, Robredo has questioned the need for a shift to federalism since it’s not a good time to have Cha-cha as the country faces various problems such as poverty and high consumer prices.
The Vice President did not give a message at the event nor grant any media interviews.
Her new spokesman Barry Gutierrez, a lawyer, said Robredo was grateful to meet and spend time with young Filipinos during the concert held at Sagul Food Park.
Gutierrez said she recognized the youth for taking an active role to address various issues that beset the country.
“She has always placed great trust and hope in our youth, and last night she was overwhelmed by the energy, creativity and courage of the young leaders and advocates,” the former Akbayan representative said.
“She hopes to see more young Filipinos taking an interest and an active role in the challenges facing the Philippines, and she will definitely be there to support them,” he added.
While the highest-elected LP stalwart in government takes on the title as their leader, opposition members threw their full support behind Robredo to lead and unite them.
With Robredo leading a united opposition is welcome, they said.
Other personalities present at the GenWe concert were blogger Jover Laurio, activist comedian Mae Paner, more popularly known as Juana Change, and Kaya Natin! lead convenor Harvey Keh.
Those who performed in the concert included Shanne Dandan, I Belong to the Zoo, Banna Harbera, The Good Times, Romy Jorolan, and BAON Collective.