Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teodoro, wary of Mayon stump, tries market tack

by Christine Herrera

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2009/december/28/news4.isx&d=/2009/december/28

The ruling party’s standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and his vice presidential running mate Edu Manzano have decided to stay away from Albay, where their rivals have been seen distributing relief to evacuees of Mayon volcano. Instead, they have opted to do a tour of public markets along the Quezon-Lucena corridors in a bid to boost their popularity ratings.

The Lakas-Kampi’s standard-bearers have shifted their campaign to high gear even as Teodoro has been topping the online poll of presidential aspirants including the latest Facebook survey. But party leaders say the Teodoro-Manzano tandem has a lot of catching up to do since they have been lagging behind the Liberal Party’s Benigno Aquino III and Mar Roxas II in most pre-election surveys.

Teodoro and Manzano are one in saying that they need not resort to such gimmickry as distributing relief to endear themselves to voters.

The market visits, called “Palengke Tour” will be spearheaded by members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD that have strong following in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

“It is in the palengke, the market, that all kinds of people mingle with one another,’’ said Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who cooked up the tour.

“You can find the rich, the middle class, the businessmen and the poor there converging in a single venue every single day.”

Suarez, secretary general of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD executive committee, vowed to make Teodoro and Manzano more visible together doing the rounds of the markets nationwide.

“The tour will be replicated throughout the country. I am proud to say that the random palengke tour was a success when both Gibo [Teodoro] and Edu [Manzano] pulled a surprise to the market-goers and vendors,” Suarez said.

Not to be outdone, the Liberal Party will embark on a new ad campaign to preserve the gains of the Aquino-Roxas tandem.

While the surveys show that Roxas is “statistically tied” with Senator Loren Legarda, the vice presidential bet of Senator Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party, Aquino said he was giving the voters no option but to pick him and Roxas as inseparable partners.

“We will emphasize the partnership that Mar and I have, a very necessary element for successful governance,” Aquino told Standard Today.

Aquino was in Iloilo City Sunday to attend the wedding of Councilor Lex Tupas of Iloilo City. “We will be shooting joint ads soon,” he said.

Villar spent the holidays meeting his party’s candidates and leaders before going to Los Angeles with his family to spend Christmas there.

“The NP will kick off its most serious campaign next month, and Senator Villar believes this is the only time he has to be bonding with his family,” said lawyer Adel Tamano, one of the NP’s senatorial bets.

“While his family will be completely behind him during the entire campaign period, they will never have a chance again to be together only as a family, so they decided to all go together.”

Tamano toured the Glorietta 5 mall Sunday, tending his children while his wife did the shopping He said the Nacionalistas would reach out to as many areas and people as possible.

“As part of our campaign strategy, the [Nacionalista Party] will be setting out into two groups, one group led by Senator Villar and another by Legarda,’’ he said.

“Then the two groups will merge from time to time. That way, we can cover as many areas as possible.’’

Tamano said the Macionalista Party candidates would also use the holidays to start shooting their advertisements.

Legarda chose to go back to her roots and spend Christmas holidays with the people who have known her since she was born. She said she could overtake Roxas in the surveys if she worked extra hard.

“All I have to do is continue with my humanitarian work of feeding the hungry and teaching environment to the youth as I did before and I am doing now,” Legarda said.

In fact, she spent the Christmas holidays feeding people and sharing her blessings.

“I fed 2,000 people in Barangay Potrero, where I was born, on Christmas Day and served roasted calf to the tricycle drivers and commuters in busy Caloocan and Malabon. That’s my happiness,” Legarda said.

The success of the “Palengke Tour” would give the Teodoro-Manzano ticket a big boost and prove that they could pull the rug from under the feet of their rivals, Suarez said.

Some people said the Palengke Tour was catering to the mass appeal, a move intended to complement Teodoro’s gains in the thinking crowd, Suarez said.

Teodoro has yet again emerged as the “thinking crowd’s favorite in an ongoing online poll by the country’s oldest newspaper on who could be the most competent candidate among the presidential hopefuls.

Teodoro had 45 percent; Aquino, 39 percent; Villar, 10 percent; and former President Joseph Estrada, 3 percent.

In the seventh round of the Facebook survey, Teodoro firmed up his lead with 47.44 percent; Richard Gordon, 22.01percent; and Aquino, 16.18 percent. Villar was a far fifth with 4.72 percent after Eddie Villanueva, 8.84 percent.

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2009/december/28/news4.isx&d=/2009/december/28

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