MANILA – The administration Team PNoy will not be courting the votes of a “solid north” anytime soon after receiving support from Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, campaign manager and Sen. Franklin Drilon said Wednesday.
In a press briefing, Drilon said Team PNoy is not thinking of campaigning as a group in the northern part of the country at the moment although some of the candidates have conducted sorties in the Ilocos region.
He said the success of the candidates’ sorties is reflected in the surveys in Regions 1 (Ilocos) and 2 (Cagayan Valley), which showed 8-9 Team PNoy candidates in the top 12.
“Our surveys show that in Regions 1 and 2, we are consistently dominating polls there. We attribute this, of course, to the effort of our coalition partners in particular the Nacionalista Party in Ilocos Norte where Gov. Imee Marcos has expressed her support for Team PNoy. We are confident that this coalition will hold until May 13. In fact, Bam Aquino, I think, has gone also to the Ilocos region,” he said.
Asked if Team PNoy will no longer campaign in Regions 1 and 2, he said: “We are still reviewing our schedule; our schedule is very fluid.”
Drilon denied that Team PNoy is avoiding the Ilocos region because of President Aquino’s longstanding feud with the Marcoses.
“Imee Marcos has expressed her support for Team PNoy being a part of the coalition. She being a NP stalwart. Nothing to do with her being a Marcos,” Drilon said.
He also said he personally spoke to Chavit Singson who promised that a substantial majority of the Team PNoy will win in Ilocos Sur. “In fact, he told me: ‘Huwag na kayong pumunta sa Ilocos Sur, ako ng bahala doon.’ We are confident that with our coalition there with various political parties, we will prevail in regions 1 and 2,” he said.
Imee earlier said the Marcoses may not publicly endorse senatorial candidates because of the NP’s coalition with Team PNoy. “I’m not going to make endorsements. We’re on the other side of the fence. You’ll get me into trouble,” she said while hosting lunch for members of the United Nationalist Alliance.
For his part, Singson said he would particularly back the candidacy of former President Joseph Estrada’s son San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, who is also part of the UNA senatorial slate. He said his relationship with Estrada and his family has been restored.
Push for Mindanao
Meanwhile, Drilon said Team PNoy is conducting more sorties in Mindanao after reviewing survey results and to help local candidates win the elections. He cited the case of Misamis Oriental where local candidates would benefit from the presence of President Aquino during the campaign.
“We have been to Pangasinan. We have not been in areas where the local candidates have a very strong presence. As I said, there are two factors: number one, we look at how we stand in the polls insofar as the particular areas is concerned; number two, how our locals candidates are pairing in the course of the campaign?” he said.