THE CAMPAIGN PERIOD FOR local elections was off to a rousing start in many areas of Metro Manila Friday.
In Manila, candidates kicked off their campaign with proclamation rallies.
Mayor Alfredo Lim, running mate Vice Mayor Francisco ?Isko Moreno? Domagoso and their City Council bets held their proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda under the Liberal Party ticket and Laban para sa Kapayapaan, Katarungan at Kaunlaran.
Former city mayor and Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, running mate Councilor Ma. Lourdes Isip, and the rest of his team started the day with a Mass at the Sto. Nino Church in Tondo.
Their proclamation rally was held at Onyx corner Dagonoy Street in Manila?s fifth district. Atienza and his team will hold proclamation rally in each of the city?s six districts.
Another mayoral candidate, former Philippine National Police chief Avelino ?Sonny? Razon, was accompanied by members of his entire slate at a proclamation rally held at Plaza Moriones in Tondo.
Several hundred supporters of incumbent Pasig Mayor Robert Eusebio and his allies took to the city streets for his proclamation rally Tuesday night.
He is up against Ricardo Reyes (Liberal Party) and Lucila Hernandez, an independent. Reyes held his rally last night in Barangay Pinagbuhatan.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, who is seeking his third term, will hold a motorcade in the city streets instead of a proclamation rally.
His opponents are independents Nelma Bondoc and Reynaldo Villoria, and Ernest Albert Buan of Aksyon Demokratiko, who remains under the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on a drug-selling charge.
Guia Gomez, mother of incumbent San Juan Mayor JV Ejercito, who is now seeking a congressional seat, will join her son in a house-to-house campaign. No date has been set for a proclamation rally.
Her opponents are Ang Kapatiran Party?s Alton Glenn Angeles, who will join his party-mates in a proclamation rally after Easter, Manuel Andrada of Lakas-Kampi, and independents Eduardo San Pascual and Aniceto Tamayo.
Marikina City Vice Mayor Marion Andres has yet to set a proclamation rally. His main opponent, incumbent District 2 Rep. Del de Guzman, will hold his on Shoe Avenue on Sunday.
Alfredo Cheng of Lakas Kampi and John Alexander Chong, an independent, are also in the race.
The start of the local campaign season was relatively subdued in the Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela area yesterday.
In Caloocan City, reelectionnist Mayor Recom Echiverri chose to begin the local campaign season with a Mass at San Roque Cathedral.
Echiverri?s closest rival, Luis ?Baby? Asistio and his vice mayor running mate Reynaldo Malonzo went on a house-to-house campaign in Sangandaan.
Valenzuela City?s Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian and Vice Mayor Eric Martinez held their proclamation rallies last night, while that of Canuto Oreta, lone candidate for Malabon City?s top post, is set today, with running mate Councilor Antolin Oreta III.
The first day of the campaign season in Navotas City was also off to a slow start, with Mayor Toby Tiangco on a house-to-house campaign today. Tiangco is the lone candidate for the city?s first congressional seat. His brother, Johnrey, is running unopposed as mayor.
Liberal Party presidential bet Sen. Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III made a short stop from provincial motorcade to drop by Valenzuela City to personally lead the campaign kickoff of his girlfriend, Councilor Shalani Soledad.
Asked what was so special about the city, Aquino said: ?The reason is beside me. She is my number one supporter that?s why it?s important that I be with her from the start.?
In Muntinlupa City, supporters of former Mayor Jaime Fresnedi accused reelectionist Mayor Aldrin San Pedro of sabotaging their kickoff festivities by laying tacks at the Tunasan national road where they held a motorcade. City information chief Omar Acosta dismissed the charge as a political gimmick.
In Parañaque, Mayor Florencio Bernabe presided over a miting de avance at Barangay La Huerta to mark the start of the local campaign in the city.
Outgoing Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Ziacita, Bernabe?s chief rival, held a political rally in Barangay San Dionisio.
Retired Associate Justice Dante Tiñga also made the rounds in Taguig City, going house to house to announce his bid for mayor. He paraded around the city earlier in the day and joining a boodle fight around lunch time.
His rival, Rep. Lani Cayetano, mounted a political rally in Tipas.
Las Piñas Mayor Vergel Aguilar opted to take it easy with no campaign sortie yesterday. He, however, will be holding a series of caucuses with local leaders starting April 9.
Former Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, who is running for the top post of Quezon City, kicked off his campaign in a boodle fight in Lupang Pangako in Payatas, Quezon City, at noon yesterday.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista made the rounds of four proclamation rallies of the Liberal Party in the city?s four districts last night.
Bautista is running for mayor alongside vice mayoral candidate Joy Belmonte, daughter of incumbent Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who is seeking the congressional seat in the fourth district under the Liberal Party.
Supporters of congressional candidate Vivienne Tan also held their own sortie on Roosevelt Avenue. Tan is running against incumbent Congressman Bingbong Crisologo.
Makati mayoral candidate Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, Councilor Jejomar Erwin ?Junjun? Binay and Erwin Genuino took different routes. Mercado began his campaign with a motorcade in Makati?s District 1 followed by a proclamation rally in the afternoon at San Antonio Village.