Team PNoy draws big crowd in Cebu campaign sortie

April 20, 2013 12:10 am 

CEBU City, April 19 – The Team PNoy brought no showbiz personalities but still managed to draw big crowd that attended a campaign rally held in front of the Cebu provincial capitol on Friday night

Police estimated a 15,000 crowd that, according to Liberal Party mayoralty candidate Tommy Osmena, was not a paid but a legitimate crowd that came just to attend and listen to the speeches of Team PNoy senatorial bets and their main endorser, President Benigno Aquino III.

”We may not be able to match the 25,000 crowd of (suspended) Gov. Gwen Garcia but at least we did not make ‘hakot’ (bussed in crowd),” Osmena said.

Osmena was referring to a proclamation rally organized by Garcia’s One Cebu and Team Rama of Cebu City mayor Michael Rama for opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) at the start of the campaign rally on February 13.

In a very rare occasion, nine of the 12 senatorial candidates of the ruling coalition of Liberal Party, Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition and Akbayan showed up to woo the Cebuano voters.

Cebu province has a total voting population of 2.4 million, the biggest among the provinces in the country.

Reelectionist Senator Francis Escudero gained the loudest applause when he was introduced as ‘Senator Chiz ‘Heart’ Escudero’, obviously referring to his showbiz girlfriend Heart Evangelista.

Another reelectionist Senator Loren Legarda equally received loud applause specially when she called Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon to do the honor in announcing the allocation of budget for her proposed universal health care bill wherein 10 million families will be enrolled ‘for free’ to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth.

Legarda also promised to push for her proposed ‘Pantawid Tuition’ measure which aims to have one college scholar for each of the poor families throughout the country.

Former senator Jamby Madrigal endorsed Osmena for mayor by asking the crowd: “What is the blood type of the people of Cebu City?” The crowd responded ‘O’ which stands for Osmena.

Congressman Sonny Angara, who is bidding to replace his father Edgardo Angara in the Senate, called the Cebuano as “the most intelligent voters” because of its booming economy.

Angara wooed the voters to support the whole Team PNoy even as he cited his accomplishments in Congress like free kindergarten and increased salaries of public teachers.

Former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe batted for free lunch every day for school children and jobs for the newly graduates.

President Aquino’s cousin Bam Aquino, on the other hand, said the government was able to save P250 million “because of our fight against corruption.”

”Now is the time to join this fight. It seems impossible but I believe if we work together we can achieve it,” Bam Aquino told the crowd.

Other senatoriable candidates present include: Aquilino Pimentel III, Riza Hontiveros and former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr.

Three NP-Team Pnoy bets Cynthia Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV were no show.

Aside from endorsing local candidates that also include LP gubernatorial bet Hilario ‘Junjun’ Davide III, President Aquino endorsed all the Team PNoy senatorial candidates in his speech.

Prior to the Cebu City sortie, the Team PNoy candidates also attended campaign rallies in Bogo City and Toledo City on Friday. (PNA)

CTB/JFM

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