Yesterday, February 9, marks the official start of the campaign period for the 2016 Philippine elections. Something that is sure to elicit surprise since candidates have been doing this “campaigning” for months now, albeit they don’t really say “vote for him/her.” But I digress.
Of the five main presidential bets and their tickets, three of them held their respective proclamation rallies in Metro Manila itself. So let’s see what is out there.
Incumbent Vice President and standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Jejomar Binay held the proclamation rally of his team in Welfareville Compound in Mandaluyong City, where there is a sizeable urban poor population. Not a few raised their eyebrows over the choice of having it in the area instead of some area in Makati which is the home turf of Binay and his family. According to his camp, the thing is that Makati’s acting mayor is allied with the rival Liberal Party and UNA did not want to bother with possible complications that may arise with holding a rally there. Besides, the incumbent administration of Mandaluyong is allied with UNA, so there.
Incumbent Senator Grace Poe and her team chose to hold their proclamation rally right in the heart of Manila, right at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo. For Poe, holding it in a venue outside a church is symbolic as it has been told so much about her having “began” her life as an infant found outside a church in Iloilo. Thus, the choice of holding it outside a church, the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene Quiapo in this case, would serve the beginning of a new phase in her life…well, disqualification threats aside.
Then there was incumbent Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his team who chose to hold their proclamation rally right in Tondo, the congested urban neighborhood of Manila. Just as the case of Binay, it is an interesting choice for his team to hold it in this part of the city considering Duterte’s home turf is Davao City. His camp stated that the choice serves to highlight the theme of his campaign which is peace and order and provide better opportunities, especially the migrants who came to Manila because of the lack of opportunities in the places where they came from.
What about Mar Roxas and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, you may ask? Mar Roxas and his team chose to hold their proclamation in Roxas’ hometown in Roxas City, Capiz while Santiago chose to hold her proclamation rally, interestingly, at the home town of her running mate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at Batac, Ilocos Norte instead of her home turf which is Iloilo.
We can only hope that there will be somewhat less mudslinging and that we will have an honest and orderly elections on May 9. And may we be able to elect better leaders that our country needs for the sake of progress.
The Urban Roamer wishes to close out this entry with this gem of a song with a powerful message to impart, especially at these times.