Estrada confident of UNA win in Baguio-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
FORMER President Joseph Estrada expressed confidence that the senatorial line up of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) will get the chunk of votes in Baguio City in the May midterm elections.
Estrada said the grassroots support would be mobilized by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Representative Bernardo Vergara, who are both seeking re-election.
"We have the incumbent mayor on our side and he has been a mayor for several terms and also congressman of Baguio. I believe we have the upper hand," he said in a chance interview.
Baguio voters, however, do not necessarily heed the endorsement of their local leaders.
In 2010, Estrada lost to then Senator Benigno Aquino III by some 30,000 votes in the presidential race.
Candidates of UNA and administration-backed Team PNoy campaigned in the city on Sunday, coinciding with the graduation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
"We didn't have to pay for anything coming here. Usually the local candidates ask us for assistance but not with Mayor Domogan," Estrada said.
Baguio, the country's summer capital, has 343,261 registered voters in the coming elections but only around a thousand trooped to the Melvin Jones Grandstand to attend the rally of Team PNoy.
Senator Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy campaign manager, estimated the crowd at 3,000 but observers said only around 1,000 attended the rally.
"We are satisfied with the crowd considering na di kami naghakot, di ko lang alam sa UNA," Drilon told reporters in an ambush interview.
Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, spokesperson for Team PNoy, earlier criticized UNA for transferring its rally venue from the open space Malcolm Square to the much smaller Baguio Convention Center.
"Look who's falling apart. Play up sila ng play up ng Baguio showdown against Team PNoy e nabahag yata ang buntot. Ang dali-daling punuin ng Baguio Convention Center. Two thousand lang yata ang capacity non," Evardone said. (Virgil Lopez/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)