MANILA, Philippines – A large crowd, mostly young in age, showed up for Isko Moreno and Aksyon Demokratiko candidates for their concert-rally in Tagbilaran, Bohol on Wednesday, April 21, a culmination of campaign events in the Visayas province.
Moreno’s campaign team estimated the crowd to have numbered 40,000 at its peak. The concert, dubbed “Bilis Kilos ISKOncert,” was held at the Old Tagbilaran Airport.
The 47-year-old Moreno seized on the youth of the crowd to make a pitch for a presidency that is youthful, energetic, and open to innovation – leadership he has sought to project since day one of the campaign period.
“Sabi nila bata pa ako para maging presidente. Bakit ang gusto ‘nyo ba 80 anyos? Ang gusto ‘nyo ba ang presidente ‘nyo kayo ang umaakay, o ‘yung presidente ang umaakay sa inyo?” he told the crowd.
(They said I am too young to be president. Why, you want someone who is 80 years old? You want a president who you need to support, not a president who will support you?)
He promised to deliver a “simple government” that would attend to the basic needs of Filipinos and put aside any political bickering and vengeance-seeking.
“Gusto ‘nyo ba ng murang bilihin, murang kuryente, mabilis na internet, trabaho, bahay, eskuwelahan, ospital? ‘Yon ang gobyernong alay ko,” said the Manila mayor.
(Do you want affordable goods, cheap electricity, fast internet, jobs, housing, schools, hospitals? That’s the government I am offering you.)
He did not miss the chance to repeat his common refrain of “ending the fight between reds and yellow-pinks,” referring to the camps of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo, who are ahead of him in voter-preference polls.
“We youth will end the fighting of the big politicians. Don’t forget the capability of the youth on May 9. We youth will write our destiny,” said Moreno in Filipino.
As in his Caraga sorties, Moreno was joined onstage by his actor son, 20-year-old Joaquin Domagoso.
The Commission on Elections estimates that some 56% of the country’s 65.7 million registered voters are in the youth age groups, or are between 18 to 41 years old. This means the youth vote could make a big impact on election results in May.
Back in March, Moreno was getting only single-digit preference ratings among 18 to 24-year-olds (6%) and 25 to 34-year-olds (8%), in a Pulse Asia survey. The biggest surge in support among young voters was seen in Robredo’s numbers which rose by 16 percentage points among the 18 to 34-year-olds and by 8 percentage points among 25 to 34-year-olds.
Warm welcome from Bohol governor
Before the rally, Moreno, running mate Willie Ong, and Aksyon senatorial candidates held smaller rallies in Catigbian town and Calape town. The gym venues in these rallies were nearly filled up by Moreno’s audience.
The highlight of Moreno’s meetings with Bohol local government officials was his morning courtesy call on the province’s governor Arthur Yap, also an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Yap welcomed him at the steps of the provincial capitol and even held a joint press conference with the Manila mayor. The warm reception appeared to stem partly from Moreno’s quick assistance to the provincial government after Typhoon Odette in December.
“Hindi mo kami nakalimutan in the times sa panahon ng bagyong Odette. Nandito kayo within a few days. Hindi ko po makakalimutan nagdala po kayo ng ayuda, nagdala po kayo ng generators, nagdala po kayo ng financial na tabang (tulong),” said Yap.
(You did not forget us during Typhoon Odette. You were here within a few days. I will never forget how you brought aid, generators, financial assistance.)
Moreno also met with Catigbian Mayor Elizabeth Mandin, Carmen Mayor Ricardo Francisco Toribio, and Calape Mayor Nelson Yu. Mayor Mandin had even asked the presidential candidate to autograph two pairs of Adidas Superstar shoes, the type of shoes Moreno wears most frequently. – Rappler.com