Was Leni’s ally boxed out of her rally in Antique?

By Herbert Vego

THE yelling crowd that congested the EBJ Freedom Park in San Jose, Antique the other day was just another indicator of impending victory for Vice-President Leni Robredo, now the leading candidate for President of the Philippines. That was not surprising.  As in previous campaign sorties elsewhere, she bewitched the Antique multitude with her articulate assurance of a better economy if elected.

On stage with her were vice-presidential running mate Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and re-electionist Sen. Richard Gordon.

Ironically, not one of the incumbent officials of the province joined her on stage. Anyway, so what? They are still members of various political parties allied with President Rodrigo Duterte.

While Leni did acknowledge the “support” of Vice-Governor Edgar Demosta of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) at the beginning of her speech, she made no mention of her political ally at the Liberal Party (LP), former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Atty. Abdiel Dan “Toto Ade” Fajardo, who is running for congressman.

What? Her own candidate for congressman banned from joining her on the stage?

I thought that was foul. So, I phoned a reliable source for information.

“Fajardo was boxed out by the organizers of the event,” she confessed. “They limited his participation to a quick send-off at the airport after the rally.”

Another source confirmed the allegation, attributing the snobbery to a group which we shall hide under the initials RPC.

Perhaps, we should leave it to VP Leni to verify that.  Had she known earlier, she would have protested and remembered having met with Ade Fajardo several times during his incumbency as IBP national president.

How true is the rumor that the organizers were minions of Rep. Loren Legarda (NPC), who is running for senator?  As every Antiqueño knows, Loren’s brother, Antonio Agapito “AA” Legarda (NPC), is one of Fajardo’s rivals for the House seat, the other being former congressman Paolo Javier (PDP-Laban). AA’s winning chances would soar if he could fit into VP Leni’s Antique circle.

But how could Tagalog-speaking AA fit there without kicking the tumandok, Ade Fajardo, out of the race?  How, when his sister Loren is in the senatorial line-up of the BBM/Sara “uniteam”? Mamamangka sa dalawang ilog? Wrong combination, indi bala?

Newcomer AA’s entry into local politics reminds one of Loren.s battle cry when she ran for congresswoman in 2019 – “to end the Javier dynasty.”

Therefore, should we not nip in the bud an emerging Legarda dynasty?



THERE’s another former local journalist who is throwing her hat into the political ring.  She is Joylynne V. Calibjo, who used to write news and ad content for a local daily. She is an independent candidate for the Sangguniang Bayan of Tobias Fornier, Antique.

Joyline, who finished the AB-Mass Communications course at St. Paul University in Iloilo City in 2001, has also proven herself successful in business, notably in piggery. She is the vice-president of the Dao Swine Breeders and Growers Association.

She is the 4th daughter of the late William Cuevas Calibjo and Ruth Ysulat Villodres.

Her first media job was as program coordinator and production director of the defunct “Reklamo Publiko,” a talk show hosted by the late Danny Fajardo on Aksyon Radyo.

Incidentally, Joylynne Calibjo turned 41 years old yesterday, February 17. Belated happy birthday!



SINCE Feb. 14, 2022 when MORE Power marked its third anniversary as the new power-distribution franchisee in Iloilo City, it has done tasks aimed at conserving nature, as in utilizing its manpower in planting trees and staple crops, and in freeing fingerlings at Iloilo River.

It was not until February 29, 2020, however, that MORE began functioning as the new franchisee after winning its legal battle with the previous franchisee.

And so the dates within Feb. 14 to 28, 2022 have been set aside, in partnership with Partners in Power Foundation, for tree planting, urban gardening and propagation of fingerlings.

Under the leadership of its president and chief operating officer Roel Z. Castro, MORE has been patronizing 100-percent renewable geothermal energy from an exclusive supplier at the least cost, enabling it to bill its customers at P6.38 per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in the country.

MORE Power intends to do more upgrades within the year in pursuit of its modernization program.

“With MORE Power,” to quote President Castro, “comes greater sustainability.”