Wenceslao: Cebu’s turn

It’s a question that Cebuano “Kakampinks” or supporters of the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo are asking now: Can they exceed or at the very least equal the large crowds that the VP campaign has gathered so far in other areas of the country with another gathering scheduled in Cebu?The answer to that question will also be a measure of how the leaders or should I say the leading volunteers of Robredo’s campaign in Cebu did their work since the campaign period started. This, after all, would be the second major gathering for the Leni-Kiko Pangilinan tandem that they will organize.But I am confident of another successful gathering considering what I have monitored from the Kakampinks’ various chat groups. “Di magpalupig ang Cebu (Cebu will not back off),” has been the mantra of Liv Campo in her social media posts. Liv was a media colleague and was with me in the winning campaign for the late mayor Edgardo Labella in 2019. She is currently a regular presence in the Robredo campaign headquarters near Fuente Osmeña.My confidence stems from the fact that the people leading the Leni-Kiko campaign here have gained more experience since that proclamation rally weeks ago at the SWU-Phinma grounds. I was there and whatever shortcomings the organizers had were more than made up for by the enthusiasm of the spontaneous support that Robredo and Pangilinan got from the Cebuanos. The event was a learning experience, I should say.One thing I learned from that event was that there was a difference of intention between the leaders coming from civil society and those coming from partisan political groups. The former are honest in their intention to make Leni and Kiko win in Cebu. The latter may be Leni-Kiko sympathizers but they also want their local bets to win. That should be clarified in the scheduled gathering.The situation in Cebu City is unique because an original Kakampink, Bimbo Fernandez, is running for vice mayor against Franklyn Ong of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan or BOPK. While the BOPK top gun, Tomas Osmeña, is close to the Robredos, Ong’s allegiance is questionable.I think the main event will be held in Mandaue City, a better location than Cebu City, which can be vulnerable to BOPK influence-peddling, especially now that we are closer to the elections. If the BOPK will snub the affair, its true intention of supporting Robredo would be exposed.But I am confident in the Cebuanos’ spontaneous support for Robredo. The people will be there because despite the revisionism propagated by the Marcos-Duterte camp, Cebuanos have not forgotten that they once took a leading role in the fight for freedom and justice during the nation’s darkest days.So I will have to echo Liv: “Di magpalupig ang Cebu.”