LOOK: Presidential candidates hold final rallies

MANILA (Updated) -- All five presidential candidates and their running mates held their miting de avances in several venues around Metro Manila on Saturday, May 7.

Survey front-runner Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's miting de avance at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila attracted close 800,000 supporters, according to its organizers.

Duterte and Cayetano were welcomed with loud cheers and chants as they arrived at the venue across the Rizal Park.




Duterte's senatorial candidates who joined the campaign rally were Raffy Alunan, Greco Belica, Nick Faeldon, and Martin Romualdez.

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a friend of Duterte, also graced the event and said that he will help the city mayor change the lives of Filipinos.

He said Duterte has unquestionable track record and is the best person to lead the country.




"Mayor ito na hindi nababayaran ng mga drug lords. Duterte destroys the destroyers of life. He is not just a mayor, he's my brother and I will help him with my life," said Quiboloy.

Cayetano, for his part, said Duterte has the heart and commitment to serve the people. He said that their campaign was not affected by attacks launched by their political opponents.

Duterte, meanwhile, promised the people enough food on their table, better infrastructure and the banner of his campaign -- peace and security in the whole country.




Roxas, Robredo

Over 30,000 supporters joined the rally of the Liberal Party tandem of Manuel Roxas II and Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.




In his speech, Roxas is confident of a victory on May 9 despite trailing in pre-election surveys.

"The best is yet to come (for all of us)… mananalo tayo!" said Roxas.

Roxas said he is still hopeful that the voters will choose a "decent" candidate over the potential return of the country to a strongman rule.

President Benigno Aquino III who graced the event blasted Duterte on his threat to shut down the Congress if there will be attempts to unseat him by impeachment process if he is elected president.

"Papayag ba tayo na bumalik na naman tayo panahon ng diktadurya?" Aquino asked the supporters of Roxas and Robredo.

Eleven of the administration senatorial candidates attended the grand rally. Only former senator Panfilo Lacson was not present.




Poe, Escudero

The historic Plaza Miranda was the chosen venue of independent candidates Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.

According to official figures from the organizers, close to 8,500 supporters, including movie and television personalities joined the Partido Galing at Puso miting de avance, which started at 5 p.m.







In her speech, Poe reiterated that the voters should not pick a candidate who is "corrupt, numb, and inhumane."

"Bakit ako nag-desisyon bilang pangulo? Binabalikan ko iyon. Kasi mga kababayan, noong ako'y nag-desisyon, napakalimitado ng ating opsyon. Pipili ba tayo -- pasensya na -- ng isang corrupt, pipili lang ba tayo ng isang palpak at mabagal na walang pakiramdam, o pipili ba tayo ng pumapatay na walang hustisya?" Poe said in an apparent jab at her opponents.

Her running mate, Escudero, assured if he and Poe will be elected, they would not kill people but the hunger they were feeling.

"Layunin po namin ni Senator Grace labanan ang public enemy number one, at para sa amin, iyan ay kahirapan dahil habang may Pilipino na hindi nakakakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, habang may Pilipino na hindi napapagamot ang kanyang mahal sa buhay, habang may Pilipino na hindi po napag-aaral ang kanyang anak, palagi pong may kakapit ng patalim, palaging may gagawa ng krimen, palaging may mamumindok, palaging may lalabag sa batas," Escudero said.

Present during the rally were senatorial candidates Vicente Sotto III, Richard Gordon, Susan Ople, Neri Colmenares, Samuel Pagdilao, Roman Romulo, Sherwin Gatchalian, Isko Moreno, Edu Manzano, and Lorna Kapunan.




Senator Ralph Recto was unable to attend the miting de avance of Poe and Escudero, while Juan Miguel Zubiri's wife represented him.

Poe's mother actress Susan Roces, sister Lovi Poe, and husband Neil Llamanzares were present at the event. They were joined by Escudero's wife, actress Heart Evangelista.




Superstar Nora Aunor encouraged the voters not support for a candidate who "is corrupt and has no respect to women."

Aunor said she would make sure Poe will win in Monday's polls.

Other showbiz personalities who attended the occasion were Niño Muhlach and son Alfonzo, Carmina Villaroel, Jelly de Belen, Allan K, Giselle Sanchez, Ruby Rodriguez, and Epi Quizon who hosted the event.

Boobay, Salbakuta, Aicelle Santos, Maricris Garcia, Daryl Ong, Angeline Quinto entertained the crowd at Plaza Miranda.

Binay, Honasan

Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Gregorio Honasan of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) held their final rally in Makati City.

Binay, UNA's standard-bearer, claimed that Makati is the "silent majority" that will make him win the May 2016 elections.

"Kayo ang hindi napupuntahan ng mga surveys, kayo ang mga kababayan na di natatanong ng media, kayo ang hindi nakakatamasa ng kaginhawaan. Kayo na hindi napapansin ang tinig, kayo ang tunay na silent majority. At ang sigaw silent majority sa halalan, only Binay," Binay said.










In his speech, Binay expressed confidence that he will be proclaimed as the country's next president after Monday's polls.

"Magtiwala kayo sa araw ng eleksyon magtatagumpay tayo, mananalo ako bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas," Binay said.

He then urged thousands of his supporters to exercise their right to vote and to be vigilant in next week's elections.

"Dapat ay lumabas at bumoto tayo sa araw ng halalan, at ang aking panawagan, magbantay at pangalagaan ang ating boto," Binay said.




The responsibility to ensure a peaceful and orderly elections, according to Binay, relies on President Benigno Aquino III.

"Mr. President ako po ay nakikiusap sa inyo hindi bilang pangalawang pangulo kundi bilang karaniwang Pilipino. Sana po ay gamitin n'yo ang inyong kapangyarihan bilang ama ng bansa upang tiyakin na malinis at payapa ang halalan sa darating na Lunes," Binay said.

"Sana naman sa natitira n'yong araw ay gugulin nyo sa pagbibigay ng pamana, isang pamana na kikilalanin ng ating bansa at bawat pilipino, ito ang pamana ng pagtataguyod ng demokrasya, ito ang naging pamana ni Cory, sana naman ay ito rin ang inyong mging pamana," he added.

Binay also urged the Commission on Elections and the security forces to be responsible to their task to make elections peaceful.

"Sa Comelec, tungkulin ninyo na alisin ang pagdududa na nasa aming damdamin. Wag sana maging tototo ang balibalita," Binay said.

"Sa mga pulis or sundalo panahon na para ipakita na tayo au naglilingkod sa bayan at di sa iilan. Ang hiling ko sa inyo maging tapat kaya sa inyong tungkulin, pagtanggol ang sambayanan at saligang batas," he added.

Jasper Monterona, 26, said he will vote for Binay because the former city mayor is the reason why he was able to finish college.

"Iboboto ko si Binay dahil isa ako sa libo-libong natulungan ni Binay na itaas ang antas ng pamumuhay. Dahil sa kanya, nakapagaral ako ng libre from elementary to college, nagkaroon ako ng magandang trabaho kaya natulungan ko ang aking pmilya," Monterona said.

Maria Dahuyag 60, said: "Iboboto ko si Binay dahil subok na namin siya dahil matagal na kami sa Makati. Gusto ko siya dahil maganda ang Makati."

Former member of the military, Nelson Nagasca, 56, said he will vote for Binay because the Vice President cares for Makati.

"Iboboto ko siya dahil maganda sa Makati at pinahahalgahan ni Binay ang Makati," Nagasca said.

Santiago, Marcos

Senator and presidential candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago and her running mate, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., have met their supporters during a culminating campaign rally in Quezon City on Saturday afternoon.

Despite being at the tail end of almost all pre-election surveys, Santiago did not show any sign of quitting when she appeared before her supporters outside her headquarters at West Avenue, Quezon City.

Young volunteers for the senator called the gathering a "street party," shying away from the traditionally used term miting de avance.



During her short speech, Santiago thanked those who helped her in the campaign.

"My heart overflows with joy, love, and gratitude as I stand before you today. I'm surrounded by familiar faces, and faces of those who inspired me to run for president. Our gathering tonight is historic, as we end the three month campaign without buying a single vote," Santiago said.

The senator, who claimed to have been cured of stage 4 lung cancer a few months before she announced her candidacy, appealed for a "principled vote" on May 9.

"If you vote for the corrupt on Monday, you will have to suffer again for the next six years," she warned.



Marcos in his speech called Santiago his "idol".

"It has been my privilege and great honor and extreme personal pleasure to have run this campaign together with your idol, and my idol, too," Marcos said.

Marcos has been a front-runner in the surveys, while Santiago has had a consistent low register since the start of the campaign.

Santiago's appearance did not last long as she left 30 minutes after her arrival.

The crowd was estimated to be less than 500. (Sunnex)
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