TALISAY CITY, Philippines—Senate candidate Grace Poe-Llamanzares, a daughter of the late actor and presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., Tuesday night sounded like she would be taking Cebuanos to task for not voting for her father in 2004.
But she threw the blame for his loss to electoral fraud and not to Cebuanos who gave former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a one-million vote margin over her father in the province.
“Hindi niyo kasalanan kundi kasalanan ng iilan (It’s not your fault but the fault of a few),” said Poe in her speech during the administration Team PNoy’s first rally in Cebu a week after the opposition United Nationalist Alliance’s proclamation rally in the province.
Poe said it was time to make things right and called on Cebuanos to vote for the candidates who support President Aquino’s agenda, which is anchored on good governance.
“This is the reason I didn’t stand on another stage in Cebu City, because it still hurts,” she said, apparently referring to her absence from the UNA rally even though she was also included in its senatorial slate, and because the opposition coalition had some enemies of her father as members.
An estimated 1,700 political leaders and supporters gathered in a community gym in Tabunok here to meet President Aquino and 10 Team PNoy senatorial candidates and their proxies.
Braving the rains
Local political leaders and their supporters packed the venue after the rally was moved to the enclosed area due to the heavy rains spawned by tropical depression “Crising.” The original venue was the open space in front of the Talisay City Hall.
The other candidates who braved the rains to make it to the rally were reelectionist Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Risa Hontiveros, Jamby Madrigal and Bam Aquino.
In lieu of bets
Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar stood in for his mother, Cynthia Villar; 19-year-old Leandro Leviste for his reelectionist mother Sen. Loren Legarda; Magdalo party-list nominee Ashley Acedillo for Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV; and Tootsie Angara for her husband, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara.
Reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was in Cebu Tuesday on a listening tour among furniture makers but failed to make it to the rally.