Some supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo called out a fellow Filipino who allegedly stalked the VP in New York City recently and even took a photo with her, only to post it online with apparent malicious intent.
The supporters chastised the man, identified by his online postings as Ernest Leigh Bahala, after he posted a photo he took with the Vice President with a misleadingly malicious framing about the Hermès paper bag Robredo was holding in the picture, which was actually a gift from a supporter the VP had also met that day.
Based on his social media posts, Bahala followed Robredo on the New York subway and approached her at Radio City Music Hall, where a group of her fans had gathered to meet the VP, and pretended to be another supporter.
“I feel sleepy, Madam,” he wrote beside a sleeping emoji, implying that his interaction with Robredo had bored him. “Nice Balenciaga and Hermes,” he wrote with the hashtag #KaKAMBINGs, making fun of the Kakampink label that Robredo supporters call themselves by changing it to include the Filipino word for goat.
Lawyer and political commentator Jesus Falcis called attention to the post.
“Hermes bag given by a kakampink in New York,” he wrote, referring to the label Robredo supporters use to call themselves.
Providing further context, Falcis wrote, “Ernest Bahala, a (Bongbong Marcos) supporter and ECE graduate from Ateneo de Davao, went around New York stalking Leni Robredo and her daughters from the Subway to a kakampink gathering. He pretended to be a kakampink and befriended two women who were legit kakampinks. He had a picture with VP Leni only to spread fake news about the Hermes bag.”
“Oh my! He was with our group who lined up to take a picture with VP Leni Robredo! Turns out he’s a Bongbong Marcos supporter,” wrote Maan Manalang, one of the women Falcis mentioned, who also gifted Robredo with the Hermès bag and took Bahala’s photo.
She further wrote, “I’m shocked! He pretended to be a Kakampink and was super excited to meet VP Leni. I don’t know him personally, we just saw him waiting for Madam VP. Sir, why did you mention the Balenciaga and the Hermes? You know that the orange paper bag came from me (if you’re trying to show that our VP is extravagant!)”
A companion, Pau Palestroque, also wrote, “If you don’t like VP Leni, PLEASE LEAVE HER ALONE. She’s here as a mother, not as a leader. Stalking her with a malicious intent is way out of hand. I am despised to know that I was with him. At the same time, I’m glad I was there because I swear to God I’d protect her with my life.”
She also denied knowing the man personally. “For the record, he’s just a random Filipino we met while waiting for VP [Leni Robredo]. We are NOT friends. We didn’t know that he’s this type of guy. He pretended to be a Kakampink and mingled with Maan and me. He even pretended to be very excited to see our beloved VP. That’s why I’m really surprised to see all his FB posts. Kung alam ko lang, hinding hindi ko siya hahayaang makalapit kay VP Leni. (If only I knew, I would have never let him get near VP Leni.)”
Robredo seemed to confirm the interaction, commenting on the individuals’ posts and said, “Maan, thank you for the gift. It even received a special mention.”
“Even Maan’s gift in an Hermès paper bag was given extra attention,” Robredo also commented, making light of the situation.
The vice president shared on her personal page that she has been meeting Filipinos in New York City who have been taking photos with her and gifting her and her daughters with presents.
Robredo is still in the United States on a personal trip with her daughters after her youngest, Jillian, graduated from New York University on Wednesday.