Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte courts Cainta, Rizal, on Tuesday, April 12.
Cainta is part of the Balance of Luzon, where he’s lagging behind Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay in voters’ support, according to surveys.
Pia Ranada reports. – Rappler.com
Rodrigo Duterte and Alan Peter Cayetano campaign in Cainta, one of the most vote-rich towns in Rizal with its 151,000 voters.
Cainta is also the bailiwick of Mon Ilagan, the spokesman of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
It’s part of the Balance of Luzon, a region where Duterte has fewer support compared to Grace Poe and Binay.
Cainta residents wait for hours under the unforgiving April sun.
But when Duterte arrives, their fatigue seems to disappear.
Duterte isn’t letting his status as the new survey front runner get to his head.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m just hopeful, there is hope and there is full. I’m hopeful. But I ain’t there until I’m there.
Cainta’s warm welcome is embodied by their mayor, Kit Nieto, who is endorsing Duterte for president.
Nieto belongs to the Nationalist People’s Coalition, which said it is supporting Grace Poe.
Nieto is seeking reelection in the May elections.
KIT NIETO, CAINTA MAYOR: Mayor, we receive a lot of candidates here, but if we let you speak in the lobby, we will listen to you. If we let you speak at the flag pole, we will listen to you and think about it, but if there is a candidate who I myself will build a stage for, we will vote for you. My companions, it is my obligation as the father of this town to tell you my personal decision which I trust will be your decision as well. My president is Digong Duterte.
Duterte tells the thousands gathered that he will lead a clean government.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Graft and corruption is easy. When I sit as president, I will tell everyone, “Stop.” That’s my message to all of government. Not in terms of years, not even months, as soon as I sit there, my messageing will be, “Stop.” And from the president down to the last government [employee], only one procedure. And there is a limit of 3 days.
He attacks Binay, who has also recently criticized him during campaign rallies.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr Binay, Mr Vice President, do not be offended. We are now campagning for positions that are sacred. It must be a sacred covenant with the people. So only the truth and what is proper. I said, how can you be president, it’s elections now, when you are corrupt? You have many cases and you get angry when I say so, but the cases are already with the court, with the Sandiganbayan.
Cainta resident Rebecca Moreno says Duterte has converted her.
REBECCA MORENO, CAINTA RESIDENT: Before, we were for Binay, but recently we decided to go with Duterte. (Why?) Because we see the change he will bring to our country. This is for our children now.
VICKY CHAN, CAINTA RESIDENT: When news about the wrong things they did do the people’s money came out, people now want to see who has a good record. This Duterte, we want to try him out for a change because, first of all, his platform on drugs is good.
Can Duterte continue converting more voters into believers?
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Cainta.