President Aquino ramps up support for local bets in Cebu

April 20, 2013 12:10 am 

CEBU CITY, April 19 — President Benigno Aquino III on Friday ramped up Cebuanos’ support for local Liberal Party (LP) candidates and a coalition of administration senatorial candidates under Team PNoy in four rallies around the province.

The President told Cebuanos voting for administration candidates will help attain his goal of stamping out corruption.

He also led in the groundbreaking ceremony of at least one major infrastructure project and promised many more mega projects for Cebu worth billions of pesos.

Cebu has a population of more than four million, of which 2,509,520 are registered voters eligible to vote for the May 13 elections.

President Aquino led the proclamation of LP candidates in separate rallies in Lapu-Lapu City, Bogo City in northern Cebu, Toledo City in western Cebu and in Cebu City.

All the rallies were attended by huge crowds, although organizers said they avoided the “hakot” or the practice of transporting constituents to their rallies.

The biggest crowd was in Cebu City, where an estimated 60,000 people attended the LP rally spearheaded by its local ally, the Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) of Rep. Tomas Osmena.

Osmena, who represents the city’s south district in the House, is running for Cebu City mayor against incumbent Michael Rama.

Sr. Supt. Mariano Natu-el, acting Cebu City police chief, said the whole stretch of Osmena Blvd. from the Cebu Capitol where the rally was held up to the Fuente Osmena circle has an area of 1.6 hectares and can accommodate up to 70,000 people shoulder-to-shoulder.

The rally caused heavy traffic in the city as major roads leading to the venue in front of the Cebu Capitol were closed as early as 1 p.m.

The traffic flow was further hindered with the thousands of BOPK and LP supporters marching from different points of the city towards the venue of the rally.

Earlier in the day in Lapu-Lapu City, President Aquino led the groundbreaking ceremony of the P300-million widening of the 26-kilometer Mactan Circumferential Road.

He said billions worth of projects are being planned for Cebu, including a third bridge linking Cebu mainland and Mactan Island and bridges linking Cebu and Bohol and Cebu and Negros Island.

But he said the proposed P10-billion bus rapid transit (BRT) system for Cebu still has to be studied carefully and experimented in Manila before being implemented in Cebu.

The President missed the inauguration of the P250-million new City Hall of Bogo City, some 100 kilometers north of Cebu City.

But he attended the proclamation rally of LP candidates in Cebu’s fourth district held at the 5,000-seat Bogo Sports Complex which was filled to capacity.

The same scene was repeated in Toledo City where he led the proclamation of all LP candidates in Cebu’s third district. (PNA)

LAP/EB/BH

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