UNITED Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay visited his mother’s hometown in Isabela province on Easter.
About 15,000 supporters rallied behind Binay in Cabagan town on Sunday morning, according to the opposition part, citing police estimate.
“Ako sa aking pamumuno, tinugunan ko ang problema ng kahirapan. Nung ako naging mayor noong 1986, yung problemang kakaharapin ko bilang Pangulo [ang]problema ng kahirapan, hinarap ko yan sa Makati [City]. Nung ako e naging mayor, tumaas ang buhay ng maraming taga-Makati [In my leadership, I addressed the problem of poverty. When I became mayor of Makati in 1986, the problem that I will face as President, the problem of poverty, I already faced in Makati. When I became mayor, the lives of many Makati dwellers improved],” Binay said in a speech wherein he spoke mostly in Ibanag.
His mother, the late Lourdes Gatan Cabauatan, was an Ibanag from Cabagan, Isabela.
The Ibanag is among several original ethnic groups who live in northeastern Luzon.
They are concentrated in the provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela.
UNA’s candidate for Vice President Sen. Gregorio Honasan 2nd and senatorial candidate and former Special Action Force chief Gen. Getulio Napeñas were with Binay on Sunday.
Local candidates and allies led by Isabela Vice Governor Antonio “Tonypet” Albano joined the group.
Mayors Benedict Calderon of Roxas town and Arnold Bautista of Tumauini town as well as former Tuguegarao, Cagayan Mayor Delfin Ting Sr. and members of local councils also joined the rally.
“Rest assured dito po sa probinsya ng Isabela, kahit anong gawin ng kalaban nila, si Vice President ang siguradong mananalo and we predict at least 70 to 80 percent votes here no matter what [Rest assured here in the province of Isabela, whatever their opponents do, the Vice President will surely win and we predict at least 70 to 80 percent votes here no matter what],” Albano said.
“Alam naman po natin tagadito po ang nanay ni Vice President Jejomar Binay and it is a natural tendency for all Isabeleños to unite together and give one vote for the Vice President [We know that Vice President Jejomar Binay’s mother hailed from here and it is a natural tendency for all Isabeleños to unite together and give one vote for the Vice President],” he added.
Isabela province has 911,910 registered voters.
Binay, who was Makati City mayor for 21 years, vowed during previous sorties to make a priority the continuation and expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); the abolition of income tax imposed on workers who earn P30,000 or below per month; the provision of free books, uniforms, and school supplies for public school students, and free healthcare for the poor.
The 4Ps is the government’s flagship anti-poverty program also known as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program.
Today, Binay will attend the Makati proclamation rally in the afternoon.
Running for mayor in the city is his daughter, Makati Second District Rep. Mar-len Abigail Binay, who will be pitted against acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr. of the Liberal Party and art director-instructor Jimmy “Jimboy” Jumawan of the Partido Bagong Maharlika.
On Tuesday, Binay will attend the Cebu proclamation rally.
Earlier, local political party One Cebu, which is led by its One Cebu gubernatorial bet Winston Garcia, broke its alliance with UNA.
Binay’s camp has said it continues to stand by Garcia and that the latter is still the best candidate to lead Cebu.