CEBU CITY, Philippines — The proclamation rallies of the two major coalition slates will be a battle of matinee idols and beauty queens.
Nancy Binay, a senatorial bet of the United Nationalist Alliance, said that showbiz siblings Ruffa and Richard Gutierrez would be the main draw in her team’s kick-off for the mid-term elections in Cebu City.
The popular beauty-queen actress and actor are children of talent manager Annabelle Rama who is UNA’s bet for Cebu City representative.
Binay said that Rama would bring her entire family during the rally, including her husband, 1960s teen heartthrob Eddie Gutierrez.
Binay said UNA decided to begin the campaign in Cebu because they consider this vote-rich province as their bailiwick, with suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia as their main ally. The Cebu region has a total of 2.5 million votes.
But the results of the 2010 elections do not support Binay’s claim.
In the 2010 elections, President Aquino won 759,938 votes or 54 percent of the total votes in Cebu (his biggest haul nationwide) and 226,342 or 60 percent of the total votes in Cebu City. His closest rival, former President Joseph Estrada, a founding partner of UNA, posted less than a tenth of Aquino’s vote tally in Cebu (67,578) and Cebu City (21,188 votes).
Vice President Jejomar Binay, another UNA founding partner, also lost heavily in Cebu and Cebu City where 60 percent of the voters picked losing bet and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Binay said the three guest candidates — Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Francis Escudero, and Grace Poe — would send proxies to speak for them during the rally, such as Legarda’s father, Tony, and Grace Poe’s son, Brian.
UNA would start the day with a 7 a.m. Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before proceeding with a motorcade of the senatorial bets in two groups.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, another founding partner of UNA, will lead the North team with UNA bets Nancy Binay, Ernesto Maceda, Margarita Cojuangco, Gregorio Honasan and Richard Gordon.
Vice President Jejomar Binay will lead the South team with Jack Enrile, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Miguel Zubiri and Milagros Magsaysay. Nancy Binay said they had not yet confirmed whether Estrada would join the motorcade.
The proclamation rally will start at 5 p.m. with supporters of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Garcia expected to provide the core audience.