• Binay, Poe to kick off campaigns in M. Manila

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    VICE President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe will start their presidential campaigns in Metro Manila next week.

    As an expression of solidarity with ordinary Filipinos, Binay will launch his presidential campaign on February 9 at the Welfareville Compound in Mandaluyong City.

    “Vice President Binay wants to launch his campaign with ordinary Filipinos who have been left behind and continue to struggle with poverty, hunger and unemployment,” Joey Salgado, chief of the Media Affairs Division of the Office of the Vice President, said on Friday.

    “The Vice President chose to hold his proclamation rally at Welfareville because he wanted to share with the masses his vision of a nation where rich and poor share the benefits of economic growth,” he added.

    From Mandaluyong, Binay will spend the first days of the campaign barnstorming the nearby provinces of Cavite and Laguna.

    “The Vice President will continue to present his platform of government anchored on uplifting the lives of the people, something that he has done in Makati [City],” Salgado said.

    The Vice President was once mayor of Makati.

    “He will continue to talk directly to the people about his track record of decisive and pro-poor management, and his programs to bring more jobs, improve the quality of education, provide accessible healthcare and address poverty,” according to Salgado.

    Meanwhile, Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, have chosen Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, as the site of their proclamation rally on February 9.

    Poe and Escudero will be joined by their senatorial candidates as well as supporters from different sectors.

    The three-hour event will start at 4 p.m.

    Valenzuela City (Metro  Manila) Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesman, said Poe’s Partido Galing Pilipino chose Plaza Miranda not only because of its historic significance but also because it is very near Quiapo Church.

    According to Gatchalian, the senator, like most Filipinos, is a prayerful person and she has been going regularly to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene to pray.

    “As she embarks on a very important milestone in her life, she once again seeks guidance and wisdom from our Lord God. The site is reflective of Sen. Poe’s prayerful character as well as the innate character of Filipinos to turn to God and pray,” he said.

    Gatchalian added that they have secured permits from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the city government of Manila for the event.

    Poe will launch her presidential campaign even if the Supreme Court is yet to rule on disqualification cases filed against her.

    Police ready

    The Philippine National Police (PNP) had directed all field units to secure areas where candidates will launch their campaigns.

    PNP spokesman Wilben Mayor said all police commanders have been given instructions in connection with the official start of the campaign period.

    “Our [ground]commanders were given instructions to coordinate with candidates as the campaign period starts on Tuesday,” Mayor said in a news briefing in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Friday.

    The PNP had recorded at least three suspected Election Related Violent Incidents (ERVIs) in different parts of the country — one in Ilocos Norte and two in Caraga region.

    Mayor said the police force is ready to respond to any eventuality that may happen on May 9 when at least 50 million Filipinos will elect new leaders.

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