In Batangas, lone woman bet won’t be cowed

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BATANGAS CITY—In this city, candidate for vice mayor Eloisa Portugal, 39, is undaunted that she is up against two prominent male opponents, confident she can get the women’s vote.

She said her edge against her opponents is her legislative experience, having served as a city councilor for three consecutive terms since 2004.

Her opponent Emilio Francisco Berberabe (United Nationalist Alliance), however, believes being the only woman candidate does not give Portugal an edge.

“Her only advantage is that she belongs to the incumbent mayor’s party (Nationalist People’s Coalition),” he said. The mayoral candidate here is Eduardo Dimacuha (NPC), husband of the incumbent mayor Vilma Dimacuha (NPC).

Berberabe said even as Portugal could be low in surveys, he doesn’t believe in surveys. “It is the people’s will which will prevail,” he said.

Berberabe said the fight for the vice mayoral seat would be a “close one.”

A mother to three children, Portugal said she has learned to deal with criticisms from opponents and believed that if there is any mudslinging during the campaign it comes from supporters, not from the candidates themselves.

In a statement, she said her posters have been defaced and false reports about her having a jinx are spreading through text messages and blogs.

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