Lasallians For Leni, an alliance of volunteer students, personnel, and alumni from 16 La Salle schools nationwide, officially backed the presidential candidacy of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and her running mate Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan through “From Green to Pink: Mga Lasalyano Para sa Tapat na Pamumuno” via Facebook live stream, Jan. 21.
Millicent Tandoc, a student from De La Salle University-Manila and the Chief Convener of Lasallians For Leni, said that the event aimed to present the organization on a wider scale and open relevant discussions that concern political participation in the Philippines.
“We have already been in operation since October, and this event only amplifies our stand as a volunteer-led organization that is in support of VP Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, as well as worthy senatorial candidates,” said Tandoc.
Meanwhile, in her opening remarks, Robredo emphasized her mission to lay out the truth, receipts, and track records in responding to crises and taking initiatives despite limited resources.
“Kung nagawa natin ito nang salat sa resources at nang ginigipit tayo, imagine kung ano pa ang kayang gawin kapag ang buong enerhiya ng gobyerno [ay] nakatutok sa kapakanan ng [mga] Pilipino,” said Robredo.
Youth’s role in the most consequential elections
Through their pre-recorded solidarity messages, senatorial candidates under the Robredo-Pangilinan slate such as Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Atty. Chel Diokno, Atty. Alex Lacson, and Sen. Leila de Lima emphasized the need to choose honest and righteous candidates in the upcoming elections.
Hontiveros pointed out how the upcoming election is the “fight of our lives” and raised its effects on the country’s culture and history and not on politics alone.
“Your participation in the 2022 elections is beyond crucial […] Ito ang halalan na magtatakda ng kinabukasan ng Pilipinas, hindi lang para sa susunod na administrasyon, kung ‘di pati na sa mga henerasyong susunod pa,” said Hontiveros.
Moreover, a live roundtable discussion was also attended by Jobelle Domingo (Head of Tropang Leni Chapters), Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC (former education secretary), Atty. Erin Tañada (human rights lawyer), Atty. Sonny Matula (labor rights lawyer and senatorial aspirant), Teddy Baguilat (former representative and senatorial aspirant), and Atty. Dino de Leon (de Lima’s spokesperson).
Given the belief that youth is the nation’s hope, Luistro highlighted their engagement in the protest against Marcos’ burial and the community pantry movement, affirming that they will also show the same attitude by voting for Robredo, Pangilinan, and courageous senatorial candidates.
Domingo also reminded the power of the youth’s voices in the upcoming elections as the sector comprises more than 30 percent of the voters.
“If we are able to deliver the youth vote for the right people, for the right candidate, it’s a game changer,” said Domingo.
On the other hand, former senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes, who were supposedly part of the panel, could not attend due to some important matters.
In terms of convincing the Lasallian community to support Robredo, Niño Angelo Lescano, a fourth-year legal management student from De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) and one of the event’s moderators, intends not to force people but rather encourage them to see the life’s realities in the situation of others.
“Once we see these realities, we will see how important it is to have competent leaders that embody the spirit of servant leadership in their governance,” said Lescano.
The live stream lasted for one hour and 45 minutes with 8,000 views.
Lasallians For Leni currently has approximately 200 volunteers across the Philippines. The organization expects the number to increase as it opened another round of volunteer sign-ups from Feb. 4 to 18.