Hugpong bets woo voters in Antique, Iloilo
ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Candidates of the pro-administration Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) barnstormed the provinces of Antique and Iloilo on Tuesday wooing voters who have traditionally voted for the opposition.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio led the campaign rally for the HNP senatorial candidates at the Binirayan Gymnasium at the capital town of San Jose in Antique.
Among those at the rally were reelectionists Senators JV Ejercito and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former journalist Jiggy Manicad, former special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go, ex-Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.
They were joined by Sen. Loren Legarda and Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao.
Legarda is running as representative of the province’s lone congressional district under the Nationalist People’s Coalition against former Antique governor Exequiel Javier (independent) and three other candidates.
Cadiao of the National Unity Party is seeking reelection against Javier’s son Antique Rep. Paolo Everardo Javier of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
From Antique, the candidates proceeded to Passi City in Iloilo where they held a rally at the city arena.
But Duterte-Carpio was not at the rally which was also joined by reelectionist Sen. Cynthia Villar.
They were hosted by Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron who is running for Iloilo governor under the Nacionalista Party against Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. of the PDP-Laban.
Iloilo and other Western Visayas provinces have been bailiwicks of the Liberal Party but almost all incumbent officials have joined the administration coalition.
Senatorial candidates of the opposition Otso Derecho slate have repeatedly said that they were confident that the bulk of voters in the region would support them.
Speaking to reporters, Biron explained that Duterte-Carpio and other candidates were absent in the rally due to other schedules.
“I think there was a prior appointment. We knew she would excuse herself from here because she is not available,” Biron said.
He said the candidates had to separately campaign because of conflicts in their schedule. /cbb
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