SORSOGON, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay and his senatorial slate on Wednesday, April 27, drew a crowd of about 10,000 here, prompting him to declare that, like in 2010, he would win the presidential election in the province.
In his speech at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium, the standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) promised to provide free water to communities that remain waterless, as well as free irrigation to agricultural lands. He also vowed to provide free fertilizer to farmers.
Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee, provincial chairperson of UNA, joined Binay at the rally.
Earlier in the day, his son Bobit Lee Rodrigueza, who is running to replace the governor, paid a courtesy call to Binay at the governor's guest house during lunch. The son is running for governor under the Liberal Party, but attended Grace Poe's sorties here a few weeks ago.
In a press release on Monday, however, Poe's camp said the older Lee was one of the Bicolano governors who supposedly vowed to support her.
"Every vote is important. I won in Sorsogon in the vice presidential race," Binay told reporters in a chance interview, as he banked on his alliance with Lee to carry him again.
Raul Lee has promised to deliver for Binay majority of Sorsogon's 425,025 votes, but not for his running mate Senator Gregorio Honasan II, who hails from this province. Honasan did not campaign with Binay here.
Lee said he would support Senator Francis Escudero for vice president. Escudero is a former 3-term congressman of the first district of Sorsogon, which is now being represented by his mother.
In 2010, Lee supported Binay's candidacy for vice president. The latter won, getting 174,865 votes – more than double the 80,388 that second-placer Manuel Roxas II got.
Lee also supported Binay's standard-bearer then, former President Joseph Estrada, who lost to then Liberal Party presidential bet Benigno Aquino III in the province. Estrada got 103,261 votes, compared to th Aquino's 132,575.
Asked why he is supporting Escudero and not Honasan, the governor said Honasan had been unable to establish a good relationship with local leaders here, as opposed to Escudero who had reached out to them. He said that, in the past, Honasan would only come home to Sorsogon to campaign. – Rappler.com