Latest Stories

Hyped UNA-Team PNoy face-off in Baguio fizzles out

By , Christian V. Esguerra

BAGUIO CITY—President Aquino’s candidates attracted a crowd of less than 1,000 on the Melvin Jones Open Field here in the much-hyped face-off with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) that had the summer capital anticipating which slate would have the bigger audience.

Vice President Jejomay Binay’s candidates on the opposition UNA slate held their own rally at the Baguio Convention Center nearby that Team PNoy spokesman Ben Evardone chided was easy to fill with its capacity of just more than 2,000.

In contrast, Evardone in an earlier statement said the Melvin Jones venue could hold 5,000.

Aquino joined the Team PNoy candidates on stage at 5:40 p.m., more than an hour after the rally started.

Sen. Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy campaign manager, said the administration coalition was satisfied with the crowd, which he pointed out looked small because of the wide-open space.

Drilon placed the turnout at 3,000 as of 5:30 p.m. but it could have been less.

The UNA crowd was estimated at around 1,000.

“We are satisfied with the crowd considering that we didn’t bus people (hakot),” Drilon told reporters who had sought his reaction to the sparse crowd.

Drilon said the Liberal Party-led coalition was not bothered by the fact that Baguio was under the control of an UNA stalwart in the person of Mayor Francisco Domogan.

“We’re not affected and we’re confident that we will win in Baguio,” he said.

Reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano tried to make light of the situation by saying that many people turned out for the administration slate’s rally.

“But because the economy is so good many of them went to buy ukay-ukay (used clothes),” Cayetano told reporters on the sidelines.

Other candidates in attendance, apart from Cayetano, were Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, former Sen. Jamby Madrigal, Benigno Aquino IV and Risa Hontiveros.

Binay to Vatican

Unlike Aquino, who personally endorsed his senatorial candidates on stage, Binay missed the UNA rally because he had to rush back to Manila to prepare for his Vatican trip the following morning to attend Pope Francis’ installation.

Both leaders were present at the graduation ceremony at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Instead of attending this year’s PMA graduation rites, senatorial candidates from both camps spent Sunday morning campaigning around downtown Baguio, including Session Road and the public market.

The local supporters of Team PNoy began the day by staging a ritual feast at Burnham Park to draw blessings to their senatorial candidates, as well as the administration’s Baguio candidates.

They butchered two native pigs for a ritual called “debon,” which invites the spirits of their ancestors to bless the candidates.

Livers and bile

Jayson Nagayos, a 90-year-old mambunong (ritual leader), said the feast was successful, after reading good signs for the administration candidates from the appearance of the livers and bile of the sacrificial pigs.

Former President Joseph Estrada of UNA rode on a campaign float mounted on a pickup, hurling candy and shaking hands with people who approached him on Session Road.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA secretary general and campaign manager, said they never intended a showdown. “It’s purely coincidence on the part of UNA because we wanted Vice President Binay [to attend] and we had to adjust to his schedule,” Tiangco said in a news conference.—With a report from Desiree Caluza and EV Espiritu, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Originally posted: 6:37 pm | Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 elections , Elections 2013 , Liberal Party , Nation , News , Politics , Team PNoy , United Nationalist Alliance

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. Massive infra spending set
  4. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  7. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  8. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  9. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  10. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace