UNA says it draws 3,500 at Baguio rallyBy Karen Boncocan
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — It did not rain as they feared but the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) still had it good as it drew crowds estimated to be around 3,500.
In the end, the draw of former President Joseph Estrada, senatorial candidates dancing Gangnam Style, and free t-shirts, resulted in better turnout than the Liberal Party-led coalition was able to attract.
According to the opposition’s campaign manager Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, their organizers of the UNA rally at the Baguio Convention Center said that the venue can hold around 3,500 persons.
UNA organizers said that the venue was packed when their candidates trooped inside after their walk along Session Road.
Team PNoy spokesperson and Eastern Samar Ben Evardone has earlier hit UNA for changing its venue from the open field Malcolm Square to an enclosed auditorium but the opposition said it was their worry of possible rain that prompted the change of venue.
Tiangco hit back at Evardone saying that if the LP spokesperson could promise that it would not rain, they would hold their sortie at Malcolm Square.
In his speech, San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada said that he heard the LP bets were also campaigning in the city on the same day. “I just don’t know if they are having as much fun as we are,” he said.
His father, former President Joseph Estrada, was a hit with the crowd, drawing shrieks whenever he shared jokes about politics.
He endorsed six of UNA’s candidates Senator Gregorio Honasan, Zambales Representative Milagros Magsaysay, Nancy Binay, his son San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada and former senators Ernesto Maceda and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
A Philippine Daily Inquirer story said that the crowd attracted into Melvin Jones Open Field by Team PNoy was less than a thousand but it also quoted LP campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon as saying that their crowd estimate was around 3000.
Evardone pegged the capacity of the venue to be around 5000.