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MANILA, Philippines – Tarlac Governor Susap Yap gave presidential candidate Isko Moreno and the rest of the Aksyon Demokratiko team a warm welcome during his whole-day visit to her province on Tuesday, March 8.
Yap personally welcomed Moreno at the steps of Tarlac’s Provincial Capitol that morning, and then appeared at his campaign rally in the evening to introduce him to the crowd as the “next president.” But Yap told ABS-CBN News later on that she has not yet decided who to endorse for president.
Nevertheless, Yap’s warm words about Moreno heartened supporters who were present. On stage at the rally, Yap listed Moreno’s educational background then said such accolades are nothing compared to his accomplishments as Manila mayor.
“Hindi ‘yun yung importante kung ‘di yung transformation ng Manila. Ako, nagulat na sa loob ng tatlong taon, marami siyang nagawa,” said Yap.
(That’s not what’s important. Rather, the transformation of Manila. Me, I was surprised that in three years, he has done so much.)
“Maraming-maraming salamat po sa pag dalaw niyo sa Tarlac and we wish you all the best . Wala pong iba, pakinggan natin ang susunod na presidente, Mayor Isko Moreno!” continued Yap before Moreno took the microphone.
(Thank you very much for visiting Tarlac and we wish you all the best. Let’s listen to the one and only, the next president, Mayor Isko Moreno!)
Yap’s national political party is the National People’s Coalition, which has yet to endorse a presidential bet.
The 47-year-old Manila mayor is the first presidential candidate to visit Tarlac during the campaign period in a bid to woo its 898,634 registered voters. He brought with him his running mate doctor Willie Ong, and four senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, Jopet Sison, and John Castriciones.
After their meeting at the Provincial Capitol, Governor Yap treated Moreno and his team to lunch with Vice Governor Carlito David and provincial board members.
The Moreno team held two motorcades in the province, and spoke at gatherings in Pura town and Concepcion before heading to the evening campaign rally in Tarlac City.
Moreno’s return to Central Luzon comes after a three-day swing in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region to woo votes from northern Luzon areas said to be the “Solid North” or bailiwick of presidential race frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
But in 2016, Tarlac, though home to many Ilocanos, gave the vice presidency to Leni Robredo who got 243,756 votes there. In close second place was Marcos with 214,166 votes. Moreno at the time was running for senator. He placed four spots from the Magic 12, landing in 16th place with 176,463 votes. – Rappler.com