Week 7 on the presidential campaign trail

SIX PARIS PRESIDENTIAL (left to right, top): Vice President Leni Robredo, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., labor leader Leody de Guzman, Mayor of Manila Isko Moreno, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Manny Pacquiao. (FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — Here are some of the highlights and key developments from Week 7 on the presidential campaign trail.

Leodye de Guzman #2

■ March 20 – Visit to the poor urban community of Laong Compound, town of Las Piñas, discussion of the lack of water supply and electricity, red marking

■ March 21 – Flag Ceremony at Cainta Municipal Hall, spoke about unequal provincial wage rates, fuel prices and hydro rate hikes; interviewed online by UP Students for Space Exploration and Development in the Philippines

– Appeared at Circle of Advocates for Workers in Project 7 Anniversary, Quezon City

■ March 22 – Interview recorded for the PTV “Chatroom” with communications secretary Martin Andanar; launched the Iloilo campaign with running mate Walden Bello; met with leaders of Bukluran ng Progresibong Magbubukid sa Pilipinas in Iloilo City

■ March 23 – Invited to Freedom from Debt Coalition webinar on stagflation; consultations with the agricultural sector and rural workers of Sicogon Island, Carles, Iloilo

■ March 24 – Iloilo campaign ended; supported by “traditional and elitist” parties, referring to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the National Unity Party and the Partido Reporma.

■ March 25 – Participation in the Electoral Forum of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines (CBCP) at the Ateneo de Manila; General meeting of the Zone One Tondo Organization and proclamation rally of Glenn Ymata, the party’s candidate for Caloocan City Council, in Bagong Silang.

Key message: “Among parties that view principles and platforms as mere decorations to get votes and decide based on the personal and political interests of the politicians and businessmen behind them, these sudden shifts in endorsements do not should come as no surprise… Let’s get this over with. deception.” (Statement of March 24)

—JEROME ANING

Isko Moreno Domagoso #3

■ March 20 – No public event.

■ March 21 – province of Quezon stormed by Barnstorm; motorcades, public meetings in Lucena City, Candelaria and Tiaong.

■ March 22 – Media interviews.

– In Manila, campaign manager Lito Banayo and Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel faced the press and escalated campaign attacks on former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over the tax affairs of his family.

■ March 23 – Led the ceremonial handover of the CMIT Building at the newly renovated University of Manila Henry Sy Sr. Campus in Manila

– Campaigned in the province of Laguna, with stops in Sta. Rosa, Biñan and San Pedro.

■ March 24 – Campaign in the province of Bulacan, with stops in Pulilan, Hagonoy and Malolos City.

– Expressed his sympathy to one of his rivals, Senator Panfilo Lacson, after the latter’s Partido Reporma transferred his support to Vice President Leni Robredo: “It is good for the Filipino people that the senator Lacson continues his race. It’s an asset for the country… I feel bad [for him] because we never give up on anyone.

■ March 25 – Campaign in Batangas, with stops in San Juan, San Jose, Balete and Lipa City; joined by one of his earliest supporters, Senator Ralph Recto; held a large rally in Lipa with around 65,000 people in attendance, its largest crowd to date.

■ March 26 – Day 2 of the Batangas outing, covered the towns of San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Bauan and Sto. Thomas.

Key message: “Everyone has the right to jump the fences. Everyone has the right to change their mind. Everyone has the right to protect their personal interests. Everyone has the right to protect their personal political interests. (March 25 ambush interview in San Juan, Batangas)

—JAP DJ

Ping Lacson #5

■ March 21 – No public events scheduled

■ March 22 – Return to the province of Nueva Ecija, visit to Gapan City and Cabanatuan City, meeting with local officials and dialogue with the local business sector

■ March 23 – Participation in “Kandidatalks” television interviews with presidential candidates

– Campaigned in North Cotabato, home province of Vice-Governor Manny Piñol, one of the Partido Reporma senatorial candidates; met with local officials and held town hall meetings in the towns of Midsayap and M’lang.

■ March 24 – Storming of the city of General Santos and Isulan, capital of Sultan Kudarat; visited the tuna fishing port and held a dialogue with local fishermen who, in turn, presented Lacson and his running mate, Senator Vicente Sotto III, with their catch of the day as a gift symbolizing their support

– At a press conference, made a surprise announcement that he was resigning from the Partido Reporma, which had withdrawn its support for his candidacy and instead backed Vice President Leni Robredo.

– Still, Lacson said he would continue to campaign for president as an independent

March 25 – Said Partido Reporma’s abrupt decision to dump him was purely about campaign finance, challenging party chairman Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that it was due to his low survey numbers

■ March 26 – Chair pressed in Pasay City, held another public meeting with residents

Key message: “Nothing can ever change my principles and tarnish my integrity. This fight is not just about me and the present. This is about the future of our country” (tweet of March 26)

—MELVIN GASCON

Bang Marcos #7

■ 20 March – Holding of a procession in Navotas and Malabon; ended with a rally in Malabon

■ March 21 – Participated in the Go Negosyo forum where he called himself a victim of fake news and a fact checker with an agenda; said he would have to prove investors wrong after Bloomberg reported that a number of them were lukewarm to a Marcos presidency and preferred Vice President Leni Robredo to oversee the recovery of the economy.

■ March 22 – Return to Cavite province where Governor Jonvic Remulla’s supporter staged a massive rally

– The PDP-Laban faction affiliated with President Duterte has backed Marcos for the presidency, saying his platform is most aligned with Mr. Duterte’s development agenda; he welcomed the support of the party, formed in 1982 to oppose his father’s dictatorship

■ March 23 – Rallies held in Tiaong and Lucena in Quezon province. Governor Danilo Suarez declared his support, but also asked for assurances of the return of coir royalty funds to coconut farmers.

■ March 24 – No schedule provided.

– Malacañang confirmed that Duterte recently held a “cordial and productive meeting” with Marcos, without giving a date

■ March 25 – Proclamation rally in Ilocos Norte of son Sandro, candidate for Congress, and nephew Matthew Manotoc, candidate for re-election to the post of governor.

■ March 26 – Participation in the SMNI forum

Key Message: “This new development (PDP-Laban endorsement) will consolidate the forces of unity so that we can continue to work against those who would divide Filipinos against each other.” (statement of March 22)

—LEILA B. SALAVERRIA

Manny Pacquiao #9

■ March 20 – Visited his running mate, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, who is recovering from an operation

■ March 21 – Motorcade in General Mariano Alvarez, province of Cavite, and courtesy visits to the local authorities of General Mariano Alvarez, Dasmariñas, Silang; gave an inspirational message to newlyweds in Silang; hosted a popular assembly at the Tagaytay Mahogany Beef Market and another organized by the League of Filipino Counselors – Quezon Section

– Challenged Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to a one-on-one debate

■ March 22 – Campaign in Sucat, Southville 3 Poblacion, Muntinlupa City; dialogue with seniors

■ March 23 – Procession, visit to the market, rally in Cauayan City, Isabela; called the PDP-Laban members who supported the Cusi faction’s endorsement of Marcos as “unthinking mainstream politicians”

■ March 24 – Breakfast with local officials from the province of Isabela; courtesy visits to Cauayan City; motorcade in the city of Santiago

■ March 25 – During the CBCP forum, underlined the need for a higher budget for the judiciary and for judicial reforms; supported the death penalty, said the country was not yet ready due to the inequities of the system

■ March 26 – Called on Filipinos to pray for the safety of those living near the re-emergent Taal Volcano

Key message: “He (Marcos) may be shy because there are a lot of participants. It’s fine with me if we argue, just the two of us. Let’s see his platform, my platform. Yes. If he has doubts about participating in the debates, a one-on-one might be better for the country to know his platform, my platform. (press briefing on March 21 in Silang, Cavite)

—JULIE M. AURELIO

Leni Robredo #10

■ March 20 – “PasigLaban” rally held in the city of Pasig attended by around 137,000 supporters, considered the country’s largest campaign event in recent history

■ March 21 – Participation in “Dasalan sa Batangan” at the national shrine of Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, organized by the Archdiocesan Council of the Laity of the Philippines.

■ March 22 – Province of Nueva Ecija invaded by Barnstorm; rallies in the cities of San Jose and Cabanatuan drew more than 50,000 supporters

– Meeting with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association Inc. in the town of Talavera; visited the Ako ang Saklay center, met female mushroom growers in San Antonio

■ March 23 – Campaigned in Tarlac, home province of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III; rallies in the towns of Capas, Moncada and Santa Ignacia; stop at the public market in the city of Girona

– Grand rally “Puso Tarlac” in Tarlac City in which more than 50,000 people participated

■ March 24 – The campaign entered the Davao area, Duterte’s stronghold, gathering some 6,000 supporters at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City

– In Tagum City, Davao del Norte, received the endorsement of the Partido Reporma through its president, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who abandoned his standard bearer, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

■ March 25 – Participation in the presidential forum organized by the CBCP.

Key message: “It’s very clear to me now: our ‘grassroots campaign’ has truly become a crusade. Here in Pasig, you came out strong… Hope is at the heart of our people’s campaign. (Speech March 20 at the great rally in Pasig)

—MARLON RAMOS

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