Poe in Laguna: Beyond party machineries

LAGUNA, Philippines – For the second time, presidential candidate Grace Poe visits the province of Laguna. Here, she pays little attention to the local rivalries and goes straight for the heart of the common man.

Camille Elemia reports.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Alam ko naman bakit marami sa inyo naririto ngayon. Unang una sa tingin ko hanggang ngayon naaalala pa ninyo at minamahal ninyo si FPJ. Napakaraming pelikula ni FPJ na talagang di natin makakalimutan katulad ng "Asedillo." Dito ginawa sa Laguna.

(I know why many of you are here. First, I think until now you still remember and love FPJ. There are many unforgettable FPJ movies, like Asedillo, which were shot in Laguna.)

CAMILLE ELEMIA, REPORTING: Presidential bet Grace Poe takes her campaign to the vote-rich province of Laguna. It ​'s​ Poe’s 2nd visit ​to ​the province w​hich has ​nearly 1.7 million voters. She visits Biñan public market and the cities of San Pedro and Santa Rosa.

The local political scene here is far from simple. It’s mostly a battle between Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance and the Liberal-Nacionalista parties’ alliance.

In the 2010 vice presidential race, Jejomar Binay won against Mar Roxas in Laguna. ​That battle manifests at the ​​provincial level, ​with Binay ​supporting​ ER Ejercito for governor against LP and NP’s bet Ramil Hernandez.

But for Poe, this is not a cause for concern. She has some allies from the Nationalist People’s Coalition and, of course, her biggest capital, FPJ. She hints more bets will declare support for her once the local campaign starts.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s okay kasi ‘yung mga partido hindi lang naman sila ang bumoboto. Ang bumoboto naman ay ang tao at sa tingin ko naman, sa pagtanggap ng ating mga kababayan dito, naalala pa rin nila ang aking ama at maluwag ang pagtanggap sa akin kaya ako ay nagpapasalamat.”

(It's okay because the parties are not just the ones who will vote. The people are the ones voting and I think, with their warm welcome, they still remember my father and they are very welcoming to me that's why I am thankful)

CAMILLE ELEMIA, REPORTING:  In 2004, FPJ overwhelmingly won in the province against then President Gloria Arroyo in an election widely believed to be rigged. In 2013, Poe benefitted from Laguna’s love for her father, when she topped the senatorial race here.

Poe is after the man-on-the-street, the people beyond the grasp of the local machineries.
Here she highlights her strengths – with none of the baggage of her experienced rivals but all the advantages of her history.
​S​he says she will go back to the vote-rich province with another one of her famous supporters, her mother Susan Roces.
Camille Elemia, Rappler, Laguna. – Rappler.com