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Despite a heated local rivalry between the Liberal Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Team PNoy is confident Pangasinan will vote for the administration coalition because of President Aquino.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
In the words of senatorial bet Jamby Madrigal, "Dagupan can make or break a candidate."
She couldn't have said it better.
In Pangasinan, 1.6 M voters are at stake, the country's third vote-richest province.
It's no wonder Team PNoy, the coalition of the President, pulls all stops here.
Pangasinan is a key battleground for the Liberal Party and the Nationalist People's Coalition. The gubernatorial race is bitter, with Braganza and incumbent governor Romeo Espino throwing mud at each other. President Aquino hopes Pangasinan voters will give him the same support he got from them in 2010. Pangasinan overwhelmingly voted for President Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 presidential race.
Team PNoy will spend two days here and stop in all 6 congressional districts.
Aquino joins his slate in Dagupan, then Alaminos, and endorses his senatorial bets. He also pushes for Braganza over Espino.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Ang tiwala ko po'y buong buo kay Nani Braganza. Di po tulad ng iba, hindi niya po isusugal ang inyong kinabukusan. Wala sa bokabularyo niya ang paggamit ng lakas o dahas para kumapit sa kapangyarihan.
(I truly believe in Nani Braganza. Unlike others, he will not gamble away your future. It is not in his vocabulary to use force or violence in order to gain power)
Despite NPC's power here, local alliances don't worry campaign manager Franklin Drilon.
He calls Pangasinan Aquino's bailiwick, and expects support from the NPC to carry Team PNoy.
FRANKLIN DRILON, TEAM PNOY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Alam namin noong binubuo namin ang koalisyon, na meroong mga lalawigan at lungsod na hindi namin maiiwasan ang mga local contests. Kaya aming pinagpatibay na pagdating sa mga lokal, kung meron kaming mga kandidato, hayaan na namin silang magkaroon ng matinding labanan sa lokal ngunit sa nasyonal, magkakaisa kami.
(We knew since the beginning there would be places we couldn't avoid local contests so we emphasized that in local races, when we have candidates, we would allow them to fight but we're allied in the national level)
In the all-important battleground province, former senators Jamby Madrigal and Jun Magsaysay, former Akbayan Rep Risa Hontiveros, and Aurora Rep Sonny Angara are present… the four lagging behind in surveys.
For any candidate -- highly ranked or not -- wooing Pangasinan is a must.
And appearing with Aquino here may just be the way to seal the deal.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Pangasinan. - Rappler.com
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