Team PNoy holds sortie in Davao-A A +A
Thursday, March 7, 2013
ALL but three of the senatorial candidates of Team PNoy blew into town Wednesday as part of their three-day Mindanao sortie.
As in their previous major political rallies in Luzon and Visayas, President Benigno Aquino III spearheaded the campaign foray in Davao City to endorse his candidates to a crowd of around 2,000 at the Rizal Park.
"Baka naman hindi nyo ko yayain ng Araw ng Dabaw. Ngayon ko na lang po sasabihin. Nandito po ang ilan sa kandidato natin sa Team PNoy," Aquino said.
"Siguro ho pangkalahatan na, 40 silang pinagpipilian. Bakit tayo uuwi sa 12 dito? Ito po ay may mga pruweba na. Pinakita na hindi mapangsarili. Pinakita na kaya manindigan. Pinakita na talagang papanig sa taong bayan parati," he added.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte led local officials in welcoming the President and his entourage, and made a pitch for the Team PNoy bets.
Duterte said the President only endorses the best candidates for the Senate. He also recalled how his late mother had reminded him that it was the President's mother, Corazon C. Aquino, who appointed him as OIC mayor of Davao City when she became President in 1986 following the Edsa Revolution.
"So kini karon and atong Presidente. He needs the Congress. He needs friends diha sa Senado," Duterte said.
First to arrive and speak before the crowd shortly after 5 p.m. were Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, former senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe-Llamansares.
After half an hour, presidential cousin Benigno "Bam" Aquino came, followed by former senator Jamby Madrigal, former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros, and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara.
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III also arrived minutes before President Aquino stepped up the stage and endorsed the candidates one by one at 6:45 p.m., explaining to the audience why they should vote his team
The President came along with Senator Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy campaign manager, and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Re-electionist Senator Loren Legarda also arrived at 7:20 p.m.
Absent during the rally were former Las Pinas representative Cynthia Villar and re-electionist Senators Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Magdalo party-list member and former Cebu City congressional candidate Ashley Acedillo represented Trillanes.
The candidates and the President had to travel some three hours from another sortie in General Santos City.
The team was also in Tacurong City, Tupi and Polomok, South Cotabato Tuesday and held three separate sorties there. They also traveled down to Tagum City on Thursday.
President Aquino endorsed the candidates one by one, explaining to the audience why they should vote all the candidates of his team.
He jested about the present condition of his love life when he introduced and endorsed his cousin Bam Aquino.
"Kapag may nagtatanong po lalo sa inyo kung anak ko siya, susmaryosep, wala na ngang love life, may anak pa. Mas malaki pa sa akin, hindi rin po tama iyon. Pinsan ko po siya," the President said.
The President, meanwhile, described Escudero as a man with a "big heart" for the Filipino people, an apparent reference to the senator's girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista.
He also expressed how he admires Poe for her systematic way of handling artists while she was still the MTRCB chair.
"Grabe ho makipag-away yan. Pero lanado po si Grace Poe, tahimik. Lahat po ay napapaunlakan sa kanilang pakikipag-usap. Na-manage po yang sector an yan ng mahusay ni Grace Poe," he said.
Some Davao City and Compostela Valley officials and candidates for the May 2013 midterm elections were also present during the campaign sortie.
Among them were Comal governor Arturo Uy, first district Representative Ma. Carmen Zamora and former congressman Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora.
During the political rally, Hontiveros sang when she was requested by Leah Navarro, the emcee of the sortie, to do a number while waiting for the arrival of the President.
"Promise, ngayon lang ito nangyari," said Hontiveros, who did her own rendition of the Joey Albert's "Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin." (ANC)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 08, 2013.