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MANILA, Philippines - The election season formally kicks-off with the start of the official campaign period.
United Nationalist Alliance and Team PNoy hold rallies at almost the same time.
But how different are their strategies?
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
The lines are drawn.
On the first week of the official campaign period...
Team PNoy and United Nationalist Alliance or UNA show different tacks on the campaign trail.
Team PNoy launches a campaign made for TV. Short and sweet.
Candidates deliver quick sound bytes and the program ends with President Aquino's endorsement.
The venue - Plaza Miranda – is small but historic. It evokes memories of the heroism of President Aquino’s parents in fighting the Marcos Dictatorship.
The narrative is clear. In this elections, President Aquino remains the central character.
The 12 senatorial candidates are supporting characters who need to win so the beautiful story the administration has created in the past 3 years may continue.
The narrative is told again and again as Team PNoy visits vote-rich Southern Tagalog the following days.
BENIGNO AQUINO III
Hindi ko po kaya itong mag-isa... Kailangang dalhin natin ang buong Team PNoy sa Senado. (I cannot do this alone. We need to make sure the whole Team PNoy slate makes it to the Senate.)
Sasabihin nilang bahagi sila ng Tuwid na Daan. Pero pagkatalikod at nakatawid sa kabilang bakuran, tinitibag ang repormang iyong nasimulan. (They say they support Tuwid na Daan. But once they turn around, they criticize the reforms you started.)
Vice President Binay pulls an astute move in launching UNA's campaign in Cebu – a vote-rich province with 2.5 million voters.
UNA resorts to the tried and tested formula of winning the vote of the poor, the biggest chunk of the Philippine voting population.
Malakas loob kong tumindig dito sa entabladong ito dahil nakikita ko na ating 12 kandidato ay talagang ang puso't damdamin para makapaglingkod sa mahihirap. (I am very confident of the UNA candidates. Their hearts are dedicated to the poor.)
PHILIPPINE VICE PRESIDENT
Ni minsan hind po kami magpapangap. Wala sa bokabolaryo namin ang pagpapangap. (We are not pretenders. It was never in our vocabulary)
It’s an old-style press-the-flesh campaign - a fiesta where candidates court voters with long speeches and celebrities entertain the crowd.
The strategies are not surprising.
A younger politician, President Aquino has seen how campaigns have changed and how media can help candidates win elections.
But it’s not to say that the old campaign strategies do not work anymore. UNA’s so-called kings, former President Joseph Estrada and Vice President Binay know that - then and now - whoever wins the heart of the poor wins the elections.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Manila.- Rappler.com