MANILA—With one week left before the May 9 elections, support for presidential aspirant-Senator Grace Poe continues to pour from the ranks of politicians to showbiz personalities, to civil society groups, business leaders and ordinary folks.
“Pinagbuksan tayo ng pinto sa bawat bahay na kinatok, binigyan ng mainit na pagsalubong sa bawat bayan na dinayo. Salamat sa inyong tiwala at suporta,” she said in a campaign sortie in Marikina City.
Poe said people from all walks of life come to her and pledge their vote to preserve the country and reject a destructive leader.
“Nakakagulat at nakakataba ng puso ang patuloy na pagdami ng mga kababayan nating gustong tumulong. We will finish this fight to the end and will hand victory to the Filipino people,” she said.
Multi-awarded singer and composer Ogie Alcasid was the latest in the roster of supporters to add star power to Poe’s bid for the presidency. He vowed to campaign for her among his colleagues in the music industry.
Alcasid, president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), serenaded the crowd of around 25,000 during the 5th National Fireworks Festival at the Marikina Riverbanks Center Ampitheater with his original composition titled Gobyerno na may Puso, a song dedicated to Poe.
The senator was welcomed by former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando, who is running for a congressional post, and his wife, former Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando. The Fernandos are also backing Poe.
Earlier, local executives from the Bicol region, led by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, have joined the campaign for Poe, pledging to deliver votes for her.
Poe also gained new allies from the province of Zambales after several Liberal party candidates for mayor and provincial board members shifted loyalty to her.
In Nueva Vizcaya, the senator is being backed by House Deputy Speaker Carlos Padilla, wife Governor Ruth Padilla and Vice Governor Lambert Galima and his slate.
Women leaders are also making their voices heard for Poe with the recent launch of “Kababaihan para kay Grace Poe” in Quezon City. The group counts among its members former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, former Senator Santanina Rasul, lawyer Katrina Legarda, Sister Mary John Mananzan, film director Bibeth Orteza, leaders of various women’s groups, and students, among others.
As a daughter of well-respected artists Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, Poe’s hordes of supporters would not be without the big names in the entertainment industry like Dingdong Dantes, Coco Martin, and Vic Sotto and Pauleen Luna-Sotto.
Beyond words of encouragement, Martin has joined some of Poe’s sorties to personally urge the people to vote for her.
In a statement, Alcasid said, “Saksi ako sa sinseridad ni Grace na magsilbi sa taumbayan. Siya ay may takot sa Diyos at may paninindigan.”
It was the first time that Alcasid joined Poe’s campaign sortie. Two weeks ago, he resigned as member of the government’s EDSA People Power Commission.
During the event in Marikina, he rallied the audience to vote for Poe, saying she is the candidate who has a heart for the children and the youth.
In her speech, Poe vowed to put focus on programs that would ensure the youth’s welfare, such as the free lunch program, which she said she wants expanded to cover more students, including those in day care centers.
Taking note of the tragedy that struck the city when “Ondoy” came in 2009, she said that a comprehensive flood control program should be in place to give the Marikina residents peace of mind that they would not be inundated anew when heavy rains come.
Poe also expressed her desire to revitalize the city’s shoe industry not only to provide the residents a source of income, but to showcase the Filipino’s ingenious craft.
“Sisiguraduhin ko na masigla ang ating ekonomiya para maraming magbukas na trabaho dito sa ating bansa,” she said.
Poe also reiterated her commitment to curb the labor contractualization scheme, which does not give security to the employment tenure of workers.
“Ang kailangan sa ating pamilya ay permanenteng trabaho na may sapat na kita. Kasi paano tayo makakapagplano na bumili ng motor, paano tayo makakapagplano na bumili ng bahay na matitirhan ng ating pamilya kung wala tayong kasiguruhan sa ating trabaho?” she said.
Poe was invited as guest in the grand finals of the fireworks festival. The finalists were from Batangas, Valenzuela City and Bulacan. The event coincided with the 16th anniversary celebration of the Riverbanks Center.
After Alcasid belted out the Gobyerno na may Puso song, the sky brightened with the fireworks display of the competition participants.