BAGUIO CITY: Like in the 2013 polls, the administration’s Liberal Party headed by Pres. Benigno Aquino 3rd and rival United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) led by Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay made Baguio City and nearby Benguet provinces as battleground last Sunday.
Showing calm and civility at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation rites on Sunday morning, Aquino and Binay were seated beside each other and exchanged pleasantries before the 63-strong PMA Gabay-Laya class of 2016. After which the two were transformed like lions leading their pack as they campaigned in sorties with their respective teams.
After hosting a merienda cena with the graduating class, their families, top military and PMA officials, Aquino met with local Baguio and Benguet LP officials and community leaders at the Pres. Fidel Valdez Ramos multi-purpose hall.
Aquino introduced the LP’s standard bearer, former DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, and his vice-presidential bet Rep. Leni Robredo, including local LP congressional bet, incumbent Rep. Nicasio Aliping and Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan and their tickets.
Just a stone-throw away, Binay and UNA candidates and local bets were gathered at the Baguio Convention Center led by former Rep. Bernardo Vergara and incumbent Mayor Mauricio Domogan with Benguet UNA bets incumbent Gov. Nestor Fongwan who is running for congressional seat against Rep. Cosalan.
On Sunday morning, Roxas with the LP team campaigned at Baguio City public market and later gathered with supporters in La Trinidad. Binay and his UNA ticket also went to the old La Trinidad trading post.
Binay later attended an afternoon mass at the Lourdes Parish Church where he was greeted by the local residents who took photographs with him. He also met the Catholic Women’s League and asked support from them.
Cordillera region has about 900,000 voters but Baguio’s prominence as the country’s vacation and summer capital highlights its political importance.
Before the Panagbenga festival last month, Sen. Grace Poe’s Galing Puso ticket campaigned in Baguio with their local candidates led by businessman Marquez Go for congressman and veteran human rights lawyer Jose Molintas for mayor.