Hugpong senatorial aspirants court vote-rich Pangasinan
URDANETA CITY—Senatorial candidates of the pro-administration Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) headed to another vote-rich province on Thursday, campaigning in this eastern Pangasinan city.
But only seven of the 13 HNP candidates made it to the rally at Urdaneta Cultural and Sports Center, where about 3,500 barangay health workers, and officials and members of rural improvement clubs came.
They were former reporter Jiggy Manicad, former Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, reelectionist Senators Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito, and former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.
The group was welcomed by Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregory Perez IV, Gov. Amado Espino III and his father, Rep. Amado Espino Jr.
Vice Mayor Marc Brian Lim of Dagupan City, who is running for mayor, was also present.
An HNP rally scheduled in neighboring Binalonan town was canceled for unknown reasons.
The candidates had earlier visited Pampanga and Bataan provinces.
“I thank God for this opportunity to have come here to thank you for supporting my father in the 2016 elections,” said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, President Duterte’s daughter and HNP founder and chair.
The other candidates endorsed by HNP were Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, reelectionist Senators Koko Pimentel and Cynthia Villar, former Bureau of Corrections Director General Ronald dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu.
Go was represented by actor Bayani Agbayani, who sang Go’s political jingle to the tune of his hit song “Otso-Otso.”
Tolentino said local solutions to national problems could be done by sharing best practices among local governments. If elected, he said he would seek an increase in the barangay calamity funds.
With Pangasinan’s 1.8 million voters, or the country’s third biggest voting population, he said the group should return at least two more times. —GABRIEL CARDINOZA
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.