‘Mitings de avance’ cap hot campaign season
TWO DAYS before the May 9 national elections, the five presidential candidates made a last-ditch effort to recruit voters to their camp, with most of them bashing the current administration as reason enough for the need for change.
The presidential contenders also announced their respective “miting de avance” today in various parts of the Metro.
Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, who had earlier joined running mate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo in thanking the Sumilao farmers for their support at the Ateneo de Manila University on Friday, later told reporters that he was asking rival Sen. Grace Poe to a unity dialogue.
The administration candidate had raised concerns about what he considered the terrible consequences if front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency.
President Aquino will join Roxas and Robredo for a miting de avance at 7 p.m. today at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, where thousands of supporters were expected.
In a resettlement site in Pandi, Bulacan, on Friday, Poe promised informal settlers basic and on-site services that, she said, the present administration had failed to deliver. Offering herself as a credible alternative, the senator said she would provide running water, electricity, housing and livelihood to the residents of the vote-rich province said to have at least 1.64 million registered voters.
Before visiting Pandi, Poe held a motorcade in Meycauayan, Bulacan, and brought along popular actor and crowd-drawer Coco Martin.
After a hectic three months on the road, Vice President Jejomar Binay ended his most ambitious political campaign yet where it all began: Makati City. The city mayor for 21 years made a final pitch for his presidential bid with a statement that lambasted his rivals Roxas, Duterte and Poe.
“On Monday, our people will write an important chapter in our history…(and) decide if we will continue with the current leadership where neglect and mistakes prevail,” Binay said in Filipino, referring to Roxas.
Alluding to Duterte and Poe, he continued: “[The people will decide] if we will surrender our future to the rule of someone who is like a dictator who has blood in his hands, and who respects no one but himself, or if we will accept someone who had once turned her back to our country in exchange for a comfortable life abroad.”
Binay addressed his bailiwick Friday after a motorcade in Navotas. At 4 p.m. today, the Vice President, his running mate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, and the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) will take the stage on Lawton Avenue, near the Binay-built University of Makati, for their last appeal to voters.
Duterte and running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano have meanwhile scheduled their miting de avance at Quirino Grandstand today from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In a statement on Friday, Duterte’s campaign manager Leoncio Evasco Jr. said that the mayor’s supporters pin their hopes on the new face in politics, away from the oligarchs and bureaucrats.
Duterte, Evasco said, “is not (among) the filthy rich. He does not own mansions and haciendas. He has no business to protect,” he added, addressing issues raised by vice presidential contender Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who recently charged the Davao mayor of failing to include in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, some 40 real estate properties in his children’s name, and some P200-million in bank deposits.
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., on Friday took a private plane to embark on an unprecedented Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao campaign tour in one day.
At a press conference following his miting de avance in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, Marcos said his votes would most likely come from people fed up with the present administration, “and the fact that there is no change.”
Marcos started his final bid for votes in Bacoor, Cavite, the province with the biggest number of voters in Luzon, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) records. Some 1.8 million registered voters are from Cavite, Comelec records indicate.
From Cavite, Marcos proceeded to Tacloban City, where some 10,000 people gathered at the Tacloban Convention Center to show their support. His third stop was Davao, where he closed the loop of his nationwide campaign in 24 hours.
Marcos’ running mate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, said she would not be holding a miting de avance at all, and described such show-of-force rallies as useless, “as those who attend have been bought by the candidate,” she told reporters on Thursday after addressing students at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
While Marcos went on a Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao blitzkrieg on Friday, Santiago appeared on a morning news program on TV. She continued to defend him and argued that the sins of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos should not be blamed on the son.
Running on an anticorruption platform, Santiago has been questioned on her decision to team up with Marcos, who continues to be hounded by the ill-gotten wealth history of his family.
The presidential candidate also continued her tirade against her rivals, describing Duterte as a “dangerous” candidate because of Davao-based religious leader Apollo Quiboloy’s threat to incite his followers to take up arms should the mayor lose the elections.
For the first time, Santiago assailed Roxas, accusing him of using government resources for his campaign. She had previously attacked Binay for alleged corruption, and twitted Poe for not being a natural-born Filipino citizen. With reports from Tarra Quismundo, Leila Salaverria, DJ Yap, Jeannette I. Andrade, Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Estrella Torres
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