President to proclaim 12 Team PNoy candidates at Plaza Miranda

February 12, 2013 1:31 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 11 — Team PNoy’s 12 senatorial candidates will gather in historic Plaza Miranda on Tuesday, launching a 90-day campaign to gain control of the Senate and help President Aquino shape the course of reforms in the last half of his term.

“These are the people who can help the President pursue his agenda. We expect all 12 candidates to be present as well in most of the provincial sorties,” Liberal Party spokesman, Deputy Speaker Erin Tanada, told a media briefing on Monday.

Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon confirmed the presence of President Aquino as well as all the 12 senatorial candidates of the coalition of LP, Nacionalista Party and Nationalist People’s Coalition.

President Aquino will proclaim his handpicked candidates in a mid-term election that LP stalwarts see as a referendum of his performance highlighted by a major anti-corruption drive, economic reforms, vigorous economic growth, and a peace initiative in Mindanao meant to end the four-decade old insurgency of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Team PNoy spokesman Rep. Miro Quimbo said the choice of Plaza Miranda was made because it is the iconic battleground in the Filipinos’ struggle for economic and social justice and freedom.

“We couldn’t find a more significant venue. It was here where blood was shed in the name of democracy,” Quimbo said.

More than four decades ago, in 1971, Plaza Miranda was the scene of a bloody Liberal Party political campaign rally which was bombed by still unknown suspects, leaving most of the party’s stalwarts badly injured.

Tanada said the three-hour opening salvo will be a show of force by the President’s team whose members, he said, were handpicked based on their commitment to help push the administration’s reform agenda.

Team PNoy is composed of re-electionist Senators Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel, and Antonio Trillanes; Rep. Sonny Angara and Rep. Cynthia Villar, former MTRCB chair Grace Poe, former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal, former party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros and Bam Aquino.

Quimbo said this election is not about personalities but about the programs of government that work.

“This is about the mid-term elections; 2016 is still far. It would be a disservice to the electorate if we talk about it now,” he said.

Quimbo said the President wants to ensure that “what he has done will continue.” He added that no government funds were being used in the campaign.

Asked on what the team’s strengths are, Tanada said: “It is the program of the President which is slowly bearing fruit, but a lot still needs to be done. He’d want his accomplishments to be continued until he steps down in 2016, so that people will really feel what’s happening.”

Tanada said further that the country would need “continued growth in order that our people feel this growth. That’s why the President is strong in his campaign to have all the 12 Team PNoy candidates win.”

He said the commitment of the Team PNoy candidates is what sets them apart. “Because of their commitment to support President Aquino’s programs and advocacies, they got the nod of the Chief Executive who in turn is fully supported by the people.” (PNA)



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