Defeated Negrense senatorial candidate Alex Lacson on Saturday, May 21, called on Vice President Leni Robredo’s volunteers in Negros Occidental to keep fighting for a better Philippines through the Angat Buhay NGO.
“Together, we are stronger. Collectively, we can change things. Let’s continue fighting for change…Even here in Negros, there’s so much that needs to change,” he said.
Lacson, who spoke at the “Pasalamat kag Pagpadayon sang Negrosanon” gathering of the May 21 Coalition composed of Robredo volunteers, at the University of Saint La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City, said “with the amazing display of volunteerism, passion and hope we saw last campaign – let’s help in building Angat Buhay NGO to become the biggest volunteer network in our nation’s history”.
A number of friends have told him that the next six years could be the worst of times for the Philippines, Lacson said, but they could also make it the best of times.
“The next six years could be the best times to demonstrate what radical love truly is, for those who need radical love. The next six years could be the best of times to love the poor so much more, the best of times to explain and defend the truths we know”, he said.
He called on those present to continue doing good through the Angat Buhay NGO.
“With Angat Buhay NGO, we can be changemakers, we can be truth-builders”, he said.
Lacson said “I am sad and hurting because the one who is clearly and obviously the better candidate, the better public servant…did not win.”
But “we should use this pain and sadness to move forward as better Filipinos, to be more aware of the problems around us, to be more persistent in looking for solutions, to continue going beyond our comfort zones and interact with our kababayans who need help, so we can be better prepared for the next battle for the hearts and minds of our people”, he said.
Despite the results of this election, he told the volunteers they should be proud of what they have accomplished, especially in Negros.
“Let us keep on building a country that seeks prosperity for all and not only for a few,” he said.
Lacson also called on the volunteers to “pray for the next set of leaders of our country. Let us wish them well. Let us pray that they would be guided by our Lord, that they would give the very best of themselves that they would do well in serving our country and people.”
Former governor Rafael “Lito” Coscolluela, Robredo People’s Council Negros convenor, relayed Robredo’s message of thanks to all those who joined her crusade and made her win in Negros Occidental.
He said Robredo’s appeal is for them to keep connected because the election results are not the end but simply mark the beginning of a new chapter.
The plans for moving forward through the Angat Buhay NGO will be laid out upon her return from the United States, and “we can then define the roles we can play”, he said.
“In the meantime, we need to see ourselves as our own heroes and we cannot put to waste what we have put together. There are many areas of concern that we can involve ourselves in as civil society, such as education, leadership development, people and community empowerment aside from the development work of the Angat Buhay movement,” Coscolluela said.
Even as they await the final results of the election and resolution of the alleged irregularities, they need to find ways of moving forward so that they can channel their energies into positive action, Coscolluela said.
“We have become a divided and fractious people and we need to begin the healing that will help us build a nation, but the healing must be anchored on truth, right moral values and integrity,” he said.
“We need to be less judgmental towards those who choose a different path, and remind ourselves that we are all products of our own peculiar circumstances which make us think in different ways, we need to find common grounds where we can think of each one as Filipinos who belong to one nation,” Coscolluela added.
“As VP Leni said we have work to do,” he added.
Joshua Villalobos, Robredo youth volunteer, placed the crowd at Saturday’s affair at 2,000.
The affair was capped with participants making a “Pledge of Hope” to work for a better Philippines, he said.*