Presidential hopefuls woo voters in provinces
Robredo: ‘We need to endeavor more’
On the third day of the campaign period, presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and her team headed out to the vote-rich Laguna, where she lost by more than 50,000 votes to Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race in 2016.
Robredo said she was happy and thankful with the support of many volunteers who had spent their own money and resources for campaign materials.
“This kind of volunteerism was not there during my campaign in 2016. So we are hoping for better results, but we will not be over confident,” Robredo told reporters in Calauan town.
She, however, admitted that their own campaign team should complement and match the efforts of the volunteers to ensure her victory in the May 9 elections.
“Despite the hard work that the volunteers here in Laguna and in other places, we really need to endeavor more,” she said.
Robredo also met with local officials and thousands of Laguna residents and supporters during her stops in the cities of San Pablo, Santa Rosa, Biñan and San Pedro, and the provincial capital of Santa Cruz.
“We will vote for Leni Robredo for president because she has the best and most concrete platform of government [among the candidates],” said Ryan Magtibay of Santa Rosa.
Meanwhile, a group of Filipino economists is mustering support from their colleagues and other academics for Robredo’s shot at the presidency, among whom are former government chief economists.
Among them is Ernesto Pernia, who served as the first Economic Planning Secretary and chief of the National Economic and Development Authority under the Duterte administration.
Pernia’s predecessors who also signed the statement supporting Robredo include Emmanuel Esguerra, Dante Canlas, Cielito Habito and Solita Monsod.
Esguerra served under Benigno Aquino III, Canlas under Gloria Arroyo, Habito under Fidel Ramos and Monsod under Corazon Aquino.
“We are convinced that only a competent leadership can restore the people’s trust and confidence in government,” the statement read. —Marlon Ramos and Ronnel W. Domingo
Jonvic Remulla on Marcos: ‘It’s his destiny’
Gov. Jonvic Remulla of the vote-rich Cavite province backed the presidential campaign of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., joining the survey front-runner in a motorcade around the province on Friday.
“It’s his time. It’s his destiny,” the governor said on Facebook in January.
Remulla also confirmed that he is endorsing Marcos’ running mate Sara Duterte.
He made the statement backing Marcos on Facebook as he released the results of what he said was an internal survey taken in December showing Marcos leading in the province.
This was after he drew flak online for deleting his own informal Twitter survey that showed Vice President Leni Robredo getting the most votes and enjoying a wide lead.
The governor is the son of former Cavite Gov. Juanito Remulla, an ally of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos got the most number of votes in Cavite during the 2016 elections, with 556,622. In second place was Robredo with 404,105 votes.
Cavite is the home province of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is also aspiring for the presidency this year.
Cavite had 2.15 million registered voters in 2019. —Leila B. Salaverria
Make no fuss with Lacson’s ‘smile’
DAVAO CITY—Former agriculture secretary and senatorial aspirant Manny Piñol told local members of Partido Reporma in Davao del Norte not to make a fuss about Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s seeming stinginess with his smile.
Speaking before a rally in Panabo City on Friday morning, Piñol said one’s sincerity cannot be judged by how frequent a political hopeful smiles.
Piñol described the senator as a visionary leader who thinks of the long-term needs of the country. “In times of crisis, we need a firm leader,” he said.
During his 10-minute speech, Lacson, who is seeking the presidency under Reporma, brought up the scandal that rocked the administration of President Elpidio Quirino to illustrate how massive corruption has permeated the government.
Quirino, who served as president from 1948 to 1953, allegedly had a golden chamber pot, which reportedly cost P5,000, a big amount at that time.
“Over time, it seems we have closed our eyes to corruption; everyday there is corruption; everyday there is thievery,” Lacson told a crowd of local Reporma members.
Lacson pointed out that those thieves in government do not discriminate what to steal and who to steal from, unlike the ordinary thief. “[A thief in government] steals our right to a better livelihood; steals our right to a better education, our right to a better agriculture, our right to a better health,” he added.
In his speech, Lacson vowed to cleanse the government of corrupt people, just like when he took the helm of the Philippine National Police when scalawags were weeded out of its ranks. —Carmelito Q. Francisco