By Macon Ramos-Araneta
Political leaders in Mindanao are confident the Moro people will vote for Vice President Leni Robredo in the upcoming elections, said Rep. Mujiv Hataman of Basilan.
In a statement, Hataman remembered that when they started campaigning in Mindanao, they were only few openly supporting Robredo, who is running for President in the May 9 elections.
But now, he said, Robredo’s supporters have grown in number.
The congressman mentioned the expression of support of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Reps. Rufus Rodriguez and Lawrence “Law” Fortun, and Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco.
During the TAPATan Forum, Alvarez said: “Pipilitin namin na mananalo kami sa buong Davao region,” Hataman noted.
“So, we are very confident that time will come, many will already go to VP Leni,” Hataman added.
The lawmaker said it is the first time he has witnessed professionals and the youth volunteering to do house-to-house campaign.
“That never happened in the history of politics in Basilan,” the congressman added.
According to Macabangkit Lanto, former ambassador to Egypt, “While I like to vote somebody from Mindanao, my ‘love for the country’ still prevails.”
“We have the momentum, this is ongoing. We are really confident that VP Leni will win especially now that our volunteer groups are very active on social media, ” he said.
Lanto is hoping that more leaders in Mindanao will express their support for Robredo.
“I have talked to some leaders in the region who are silent, but they are for VP Leni. So, I won’t be surprised if they come out in the next few weeks,” he said.
The Moro people, he noted, fear that if Robredo will not win, other candidates will probably “dismantle” the Bangsamoro.
According to Hataman, the people must base their choice of candidate on track record.
“At the end of the day, you will look at the track record and platform. if the platforms are the same, you will check if you know them and tested them,” he said.
He said that Robredo is “the best” choice even if there are other candidates from Mindanao.
“It is important for us Muslims to talk ‘peace and security’ in the Bangsamoro region,” he said.
“I have already tested VP Leni. She remains firm on her decisions when it comes to peace. Since she was a congresswoman, she is indeed a champion of peace.”
He said Robredo’s surge in the latest survey doesn’t include the turnaround of several candidates who now want to back the Robredo-Pangilinan team.
“I am confident she can catch up in Mindanao since her volunteers are willing to conduct a house-to-house campaign,” Hataman said.