AFTER today’s sorties in Talisay City in the north and Liloan town in the south, the Liberal Party (LP) Senate slate will kick off the official start of the local campaign period on March 29 with a rally in Cebu City.
“The Cebu City rally is reserved during the president’s next visit. Vote rich kaayo ang Cebu City and that is one of the areas where LP is strongest also because of Rep. Tomas Osmeña,” LP Cebu chairman Hilario Davide III said yesterday.
Osmeña, LP Cebu City chairman, said he canceled his booking for the Cebu Coliseum after he was advised by Davide last Saturday that the LP Cebu City rally was moved to March 29.
Osmeña said he will be at the Talisay City rally today to welcome the president.
“I’m not all disappointed. It means less work for me. I suggested that we have the LP rally in the city during the start of the local campaign period,” Osmeña said.
The congressman said he had the coliseum booked two weeks ago after he received word from LP campaign manager and Sen. Franklyn Drilon about their planned Cebu visit.
Davide clarified reports that Cebu City was left out of the President’s campaign schedule.
“The President assured us that he will be coming back to Cebu to campaign for his local candidates,” he added.
Davide said Cebu City will be the venue of the president’s next visit. LP senatorial candidates will arrive in Cebu today for a two-day campaign sortie.
The first rally scheduled to start at 5 p.m. today will be held in a privately owned lot located across the Talisay City hall along the South Coastal Road.
Davide said the LP national party is leasing the more than one hectare lot for the rally.
President Aquino will arrive at the Talisay City rally in the Lawaan Lot at 6:30 p.m.
Davide said they received no word on whether senatorial candidates Sonny Angara and Loren Legarda will attend the rally.
After Talisay City, the candidates will proceed to the Tayud, Liloan sports center while President Aquino will leave for Manila.
Davide said the LP chose to hold their rallies in Liloan town and Talisay City due to their location and voting population.
“It is important and Team Pnoy candidates to boost the candidacy of our local candidates and to also campaign for our senatorial candidates,” he said.
Davide said there would be no motorcades, only a rally and radio station visits for the candidates.
He said they expect the LP rally won’t be as big as the Feb. 12 rally of the United Nationalist Alliance at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.
“We expect people to voluntarily go there to listen,” Davide said.
He said they won’t use government resources in their campaigns because “we are very conscious of Commission on Elections (Comelec) regulations.”
Senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar said they will visit Dumaguete City before they head to Cebu province and then proceed to Iloilo City.
“Cebu is one of the biggest and thickly populated areas so its important to us,” she said.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale said the LP Cebu chose Talisay City since it is a very “significant” place where the liberation of Cebu happened.
“The liberation forces were there 68 years ago… It is very significant,” she told reporters.
Magpale said she advised their community organizers and the mayors not to use government vehicles in fetching supporters. Davide said Liloan town is also vote-rich next to Danao City.
The Talisay City rally will start at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. while tomorrow’s rally at the sports complex in Tayud, Liloan town will start at 10 a.m. and end at 12 noon. /Doris C. Bongcac and Carmel Loise Matus with Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon