MANILA, Philippines – Vice Presidential bet Sara Duterte’s solo campaign in vote-rich Laguna on Thursday, March 24, came with the clearer banking of the incumbent, Governor Ramil Hernandez.
“Ang gusto natin dito sa Laguna, makita tayong marunong makipagkaisa at marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob. Kung mapansin ninyo, ang dami na nating nakaraang gatherings dito sa Laguna, pero wala pa kong ini-invite na mga kandidato sa national government…obviously ‘di ako mag-i-invite kung itong ating bisita ay hindi malapit sa aking puso na gusto ko suportahan at ipakita na dito sa Laguna, kaya natin siyang ipanalo,” said Hernandez on Thursday, before his wife, who represents the province’s 2nd District, introduced the Davao mayor to barangay workers from the province.
(Here in Laguna, we want to show our willingness to unite and to show our gratitude. If you notice, we’ve had a lot of gatherings in Laguna, but I’ve yet to invite national government candidates. Obviously, I wouldn’t invite our visitor if I didn’t want to support her and show that here, in Laguna, we can help her win.)
His wife, 2nd District Representative Ruth Hernandez, introduced Duterte as the “next vice president” and described the vice presidential candidate as someone who would “continue” the legacy of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Davao mayor had earlier been declared an “adopted daughter” of the province, via a provincial board resolution.
Duterte’s visit to Laguna was short and sweet – just two events with barangay workers. The last time Sara Duterte visited Laguna as a vice presidential candidate, she was joined by Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her running mate. During their last campaign in Laguna, the two attended two grand rallies in Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, while Marcos Jr. held a caravan from Biñan to Sta Rosa.
Hernandez and other local officials had graced the stage with the pair and while Hernandez introduced Marcos Jr. as “president” and Duterte as “vice president,” neither got an explicit endorsement from the incumbent.
Hernandez had also hosted the two during a visit to Laguna before the campaign officially started.
Laguna is a crucial province for any national candidate. It is home to more than 2 million registered voters and is the 4th most vote-rich province in the Philippines. Hernandez is a member of the ruling PDP-Laban, President Duterte’s party. PDP-Laban recently endorsed Marcos Jr. and had long “adopted” Duterte as its vice presidential bet.
In the 2016 elections, Marcos Jr. had a narrow win – just over 50,000 votes – over the eventual winner of the vice presidential race, Leni Robredo. President Rodrigo Duterte also won in Laguna, with his closest rival in the province Senator Grace Poe getting over 60,000 less votes.
Hernandez is seeking his final consecutive term and is being challenged by Laguna 3rd District Representative Sol Aragones. – Rappler.com