Gloria to present ‘best bets’ in sorties

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday said she will present “the best candidates” so they can expound on their advocacies during the campaign for the May 13 elections.

“I am here to give the most competent and most qualified candidates exposure to present their plans and platform of governance to enable Kapampangans to vote wisely,” Arroyo said.

The former President stressed she wanted to give a chance to her fellow Cabalen to hear more on the platform of the senatorial and local candidates that she will introduce.

Arroyo has been joining the campaign sorties of the administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional coalition.

In other developments:

* In Tacloban City, the presence of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the campaign sorties of the administration candidates is a crowd drawer, according to Senator Juan Edgardo Angara.

READ: Sara rising star in politics—Gloria

“We’ve been going around the country and most of the places we went to were with a big crowd,” Angara said. 

He said in their previous sorties in Nueva Ecija about 20,000 people witnessed the campaign, and in Quezon City there were about 13,000 supporters. Both were attended by the presidential daughter.

“I think she is one if not the main draw in our sorties,” Angara said during a basketball event here Sunday. 

Mayor Sara has endorsed 13 senatorial candidates under the HNP party.

* Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday said she told Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos that her experience as a governor made her very much qualified to run for senator, even as the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos got bombarded with allegations of faking her college and law degrees.

Duterte-Carpio, as head of the HNP, which endorses the candidacies of Marcos and 12 others, said she had talked to the Ilocos Norte governor and the latter had promised to release a new statement regarding the issues hounding her supposedly fake college degrees.

“She said she would come out with an official statement about the questions on her educational background,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters at the sidelines of the HNP campaign rally in Antipolo City, Rizal.

*The Department of Education on Tuesday discouraged schools from inviting election candidates to their graduation ceremonies.

The department said inviting candidates to graduation rites was not prohibited but was “highly discouraged.”

“It may be misinterpreted as an endorsement of a candidate by our principals and teachers this election campaign period,” the department said in a statement.

“However, if the invitation and/or attendance of a candidate is supported by valid and compelling reasons, our officials are warned that this cannot degenerate into an endorsement or solicitation of votes.”

On Monday, Arroyo hosted former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, clean elections advocate Glenn Chong, and Family First party-list nominee Anne Andanar in her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga.

Arroyo explained that since Kapampangans are intelligent voters and therefore vote on their own, all that political leaders of the province like herself can do is to provide the platform to enable candidates to present themselves to the voters.

“Pampanga, unlike other places, has no command vote because the Kapampangan voters are intelligent and so endorsing a candidate is a non-issue,” Arroyo said.

“We political leaders in the provinces have a role to play—and that is to introduce the most qualified candidates to the electorate.  But in the final tally, it is the voters who will choose their leaders,” the former president said.

Arroyo had earlier attended the kick-off campaign of the HNP in Pampanga. She also hosted former Interior secretary Rafael Alunan and lawyer Larry Gadon in her district.

Proof that Kapampangan voters are intently listening to  the candidates, Speaker Arroyo said that people have been giving warm reception to the candidates they are hosting.

She also brought Enrile, Chong and Andanar to meet retired Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto in Betis, Pampanga. With PNA

READ: Arroyo goes all out for Hugpong

Topics: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo , May 13 elections , Hugpong ng Pagbabago
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