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Daly City, California gathering touts Roxas-Robredo tandem

loida and other speakers1

Leaders of the US Pinoys for Good Government (USP4GG) are seated at the PBRC main hall. From left are Atty. Rodel Rodis, Charito Benipayo, guest speaker Loida Nicolas Lewis, Atty. Ted Laguatan and Gabby Moraleda. PHOTOS BY JUN NUCUM

DALY CITY, California–Philippine-born immigration lawyer, industrialist, philanthropist and current U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) National Chairwoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis declared her support for Aquino administration candidates Mar Roxas for president and Leni Robredo for vice president, or RoRo for short.

Lewis told her audience of Filipino American community leaders at the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center (PBRC) in Daly City last weekend that the Filipinos have risen but could rise some more with the victory of administration’s slate. (Her sister, Imelda Nicolas, currently sits as the chair of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.)

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Lewis was warmly welcomed by other USP4GG officials based in the Bay Area led by Attys. Roel Rodis national president and legal counsel Ted Laguatan, Islanders TV host Charito Benipayo and head of Leni Robedo for Vice President in the Bay Area Gabby Moraleda who also gave a short introduction.

Lewis urged everyone to participate in the May 2016 national elections and also do their part in exhorting their loved ones and friends back home to vote for Roxas and Robredo.

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“I go around the world to campaign for Mar and Leni because I am in charge of the global Filipino group (in support of Mar-Leni). I have been to Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris and Vienna before coming here to San Francisco,” Lewis disclosed in an interview after her talk.

“For me, I want the Philippines to rise up. We Filipinos, in and out of the country, are good as a people. But our leader in the Philippines must show that he has the integrity, he has the accountability, he has transparency. He is a servant leader. When you have that as a leader, then all of us will follow. That is what we did here.”

Lewis explained that she is endorsing Roxas and Robredo because the Philippines needed 18 years of good governance as six years are not enough.

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Filipino American community leaders braved the rain to hear US4PGG Chair Loida Nicolas Lewis give a talk on the presidential and vice presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.

“PNoy had six years and should have a second and third term. That is why he has chosen Mar Roxas whom I know will think for the people with no hint of corruption and has competence,” she explained.

“Six years of Mar Roxas with understudy Leni Robredo, who has pure heart, has been a hard worker and servant leader for the last six years will be god–18 years and we will really get it,” Lewis confidently believes. Lewis hails from Bicol, the same region as Robredo.

Lewis also said that at present, the Roxas-Robredo tandem is moving up in the surveys, although it is too early as there are still four months to election day.

She is also positive that as long as the movement is upwards and “not up down but down up,” Mar Roxas will be the next president in spite of all the negative publicity against him, which to her are deceptive and all lies.

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Lewis lamented that Roxas did not put himself up all these years and did not make known early on the good things he has done, like starting the business process outsourcing (BPO or more popularly known as the call center industry), for he is not known to be a credit grabber and is more concerned with how to help the people.

At the moment, Lewis considers Vice President Jejomar Binay as Roxas’ strongest opponent.

“I don’t want to say anything about him (Binay). He has been in the papers all along — what he has done in the past year and while he was Mayor of Makati. It was like the hand of God working when his own Vice Mayor Roger Mercado, who was with him in the alleged corruption in Makati and was promised to be the next Makati Mayor (which never came about) should Binay become Vice President, started to spill the beans. And we learned all about the alleged anomalies committed during the Binay administration,” Lewis stated.

On Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Lewis does not seem worried.

“Duterte for me is our equivalent to (leading Republican presidential aspirant Donald) Trump. Being mayor of Davao, that’s a small town (actually it is a city) away from the glare of television. So he has started saying that he has killed people. Regardless whether they are criminals, you don’t have the right to get them without due process of law that is the bedrock of democracy. That he has two wives, two mistresses, that he is just doing short time, those for me is no contest between Mar and him. So whatever word war that happened, it doesn’t matter (to Mar) as a person. He is so far below what Mar is,” Lewis asserted.

Lewis added that Roxas was Jesuit-educated and she knows the type of education and training that the Jesuits bring – “servant leadership, integrity, accountability, transparency.”

Lewis is more worried with how little a large portion of the population knows about what she regarded as the period of darkness which was the Marcos times.

“Of the 102 million Filipinos, 54 million are below 35 years old and who have no idea what Martial Law was,” Lewis worried.

“We have the responsibility because we know what Martial Law was in the Philippines up to 1986. It was period of darkness with rampant violation of human rights, disappearances of activists, and immoral ascendancy when we lost our sense of right and wrong. It was right to kill, to steal, and get gold from Central Bank to be spirited out of the country to be deposited other countries all over the world.”

Laguatan echoed this view when he talked about the importance of the coming elections, even as he stressed that the candidates that should win the elections must   sincerely love the people and must be competent and capable of serving the people.

“The position of the vice president in the election is very important especially since (Senator Ferdinand) Bongbong Marcos is running. If he wins because of the Marcos money, and the sitting president is rendered incapacitated then it will be Marcos time all over again,” Laguatan warned. “So we have to make sure that the right people get elected.”

Lewis stressed that, “the support of ten million overseas Filipinos is very important. We can decide this election. If all of us do what I said we should do. call, Viber, Skype, Facebook, Twitter etc. and all of us here are convinced (for Mar-Leni) as we don’t owe anybody anything. If we do that, Mar will definitely be President and Leni the Vice President.”

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TAGS: Imelda Nicolas, Leni Robredo, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Mar Roxas, Philippine presidential elections May 2016
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