In Lipa City, Poe says Batangas feels like 'home'

BATANGAS, Philippines – In Lipa City, reelectionist senator Grace Poe wooed Batangueño voters and said that whenever she's in the province, she feels "at home."

"Alam 'nyo, 'pag pumupunta ako dito, talagang 'at home' na 'at home' ako (Whenever I come here, I really feel that I'm 'at home' here)," Poe told the thousands who attended the Rectos' Bangon Lipa miting de avance campaign late Saturday night, May 4.

Actress and former Batangas governor Vilma Santos Recto is running for reelection as Batangas 6th district representative. Vilma's husband, Ralph Recto, currently sits as the Senate President Pro-Tempore.

Poe said that Vilma has always been here "partner" for counterpart measures at the House that push for pro-children and pro-women policies.

"'Yung mga batas na makakatulong sa mga bata, sa mga may sakit, sa mga estudyante, ang ka-partner namin sa Kongreso ay Congresswoman Vi. Siya po ay masipag na Kongresista," Poe said. (For laws that will help children, those who are sick, students, our partner is Congresswoman Vi. She is a hardworking congresswoman.)

Poe promised she will work with the Senate minority leader on measures to create more jobs for Batangueños.

"Kaya po ganito ang aking maipapangako sa inyo: kami ni Senator Ralph, sa Senado, kung ano ang mga proyekto na puwedeng magbigay ng mas marami pang trabaho para sa inyo dito sa Batangas, sisiguraduhin namin na itutulak namin na maipasa para sa inyo," Poe said. 

(Here's what I can promise: with Senator Ralph, in the Senate, whatever project that we can push for that will create more jobs here in Batangas, we will make sure that we will push for its passage.)

Poe noted that she is banking on the support of her "friends" like the Rectos as an independent candidate.

"Dahil wala akong partido, umaasa ako sa mga kaibigang katulad ni Senator Ralph at ni Congresswoman Vi, para ipakilala sa publiko. Pero kahit wala tayong partido, sa awa ng Diyos, nandyan pa rin ang tiwala ninyo,"  she said.

(Because I don't have a party, I am dependent on my friends like Senator Ralph and Congresswoman Vi, to be introduced to the public. Even if we don't have a party, you are still there to trust me, thank God.)

Apart from Poe, other reelectionist senators were also endorsed by the Rectos: Cynthia Villar and Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara.

They also backed the campaign of Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Ralph's former colleague at the Senate and the Liberal Party (LP), as well as two other Otso Diretso bets – Chel Diokno and Romulo Macalintal.

Former senator Bong Revilla was also endorsed at the miting de avance. He is currently out on bail for his pending 16 counts of graft.

In September 2018, the Rectos announced that they have left once-ruling LP and are now allied with the Nacionalista Party (NP). They created a local party, One Batangas. (READ: Rectos leave Liberal Party, join Nacionalista Party)

Batangas is the 7th most vote-rich province, with a total of 1,717,292 registered voters for the 2019 midterm elections. (READ: Vote-rich regions, provinces in the 2019 Philippine elections– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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