PNoy to lead administration team's Pampanga sortie
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will lead today’s rally of the Team PNoy senatorial candidates in Pampanga, the home province of his political nemesis, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, spokesman for the administration coalition, said the group will seek the support of the cabalens (provincemates) in Pampanga, where Aquino and former vice presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II won in the May 2010 polls.
“The President will join his senatorial candidates in the Pampanga campaign. This is another huge boost to our aim of attaining 12-0,” he said. Evardone is also seeking re-election in his district in Eastern Samar.
Evardone, a former governor, said the ruling Liberal Party-led coalition will back former Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio as their gubernatorial candidate against re-electionist Gov. Lilia Pineda, a staunch ally of Arroyo.
Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of electoral sabotage and plunder – both non-bailable offenses – that the government filed against her.
The ex-president was granted bail, however, on her electoral sabotage case.
Arroyo’s plunder case stemmed from the alleged fraudulent transfer of P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office from 2008 to 2010.
Team PNoy will start its rally at 9 a.m. today at Genuino Park in Candaba before proceeding to a luncheon-press conference at Amber Trail in Mexico town.
Aquino will proclaim his senatorial bets in San Fernando City before the senatorial candidates proceed to a symbolic woodcarving event in support of the industry in Guagua and also stage a rally in the area before returning to Manila.
Meanwhile, Team PNoy senatorial candidates are gaining support in Bulacan not only among LP partymates but also among members of the local opposition.
“There is an increasing clamor to support the candidates of President Aquino due to our economic performance,” said businessman Ambrosio Cruz, who is the mayoral candidate in Guiguinto town of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada.
He said that the seven percent economic growth of the country is a clear advantage for LP senatorial candidates.
“It is the same reason why other parties cannot afford to antagonize President Aquino, because the economy is growing,” he said.
Cruz added that the major contributor to the growing economy is the anti-corruption drive of the government, especially on infrastructure projects implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“The World Bank projected that we are losing at least P600 million to corruption alone, and we are now saving at least P300 million, that’s a lot of money, and what if corruption is totally plugged we could save more,” he said. With Ding Cervantes, Dino Balabo