Lito Banayo, Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso’s campaign manager, is optimistic that the Yap family of Tarlac will eventually endorse the Manila mayor for president.
“Palambot na nang palambot dito sa Tarlac ang bulalo. We’re very confident (we’ll secure the Yap family’s support),” Banayo told reporters in Tarlac City on Tuesday night.
Tarlac Governor Susan Yap earlier told reporters she has yet to decide on who to endorse for president in the May 2022 polls. Yap said she is still waiting for the Nationalist People’s Coalition or NPC’s decision before backing anyone’s presidential bid.
Domagoso, his running mate Dr. Willie Ong, and senatorial candidates Dr. Carl Balita, Jopet Sison, Samira Gutoc and former secretary John Castriciones brought their campaign sortie to the province of Tarlac on Tuesday.
They visited a shopping center in Concepcion town, where they were warmly greeted by residents and mallgoers. Their arrival even caused a commotion in the community mall.
The party held a motorcade in Concepcion, Tarlac City, Bamban and Pura before meeting with Yap at the provincial capitol.
Domagoso and his slate also held a dialogue with ground leaders, volunteers and supporters.
The candidates ended the day with a major campaign rally at Centro Mercato, a first for the Moreno-Ong tandem.
Singer Michael Pangilinan and The Voice Philippines’ Leah Patricio were among the performers.
Domagoso, Ong and their senatorial bets interacted with around 1,000 supporters as they presented their plans and programs.
“Hindi pwede na ang namumuno sa atin ay hindi natin nakikita. Kailangan ang namumuno sa atin kasama natin, yung nararamdaman kapag humahapdi ang sikmura ninyo,” Domagoso told voters.
He continued, “Kung iba ang napili niyong kandidato, huwag kayo mag-alala, titiyagain ko kayo. Kung ano man ang tigas ng bulalo, lalambot din ito.”
Banayo said the whole day campaign sortie was a productive one.
“Very good. This was a very productive day for us. Even the warmth of the people, nakita naman ninyo sa streets na naglalabasan ang tao. Wala naman kaming hinakot na tao. It’s very indicative of a switch to Isko here in Central Luzon,” he noted.
Banayo said Domagoso’s campaign is buoyed by "organic support."
“Organic ang suporta, wala kaming hindi organic. Walang hakot, definitely,” he said.
ABS-CBN News spoke with those who attended the campaign rally and most of them have long made up their minds to vote for Domagoso.
“Nakasubaybay na kami sa kanya, sa mga lakad niya… Siya may pinakamagandang plataporma, aksyon kaagad. Ang Maynila, tignan mo, anlaki ng pinagbago. Palagay ko si Isko magpapatino sa atin, sa buong Pilipinas,” Lito Macam said.
“Maganda mga plataporma niya. Sana itong Tarlac mapaganda niya rin. Siya ay mabait, marami siyang natulungan… The best siya, number one,” Randy Castillo added.
“Sobrang mahalaga na makapunta siya dito kasi siya ang inaasahan namin na makatulong sa ating bayan. Talagang marunong siyang makisama sa mahihirap… Matulungin siya, matapang siya. Okay na okay siya sa amin,” Merlyn Cayabyab said.
The Aksyon Demokratiko candidates are scheduled to campaign and hold a motorcade in Nueva Ecija this Thursday and Friday, Banayo said.
They will also travel to provinces in the Visayas next week, he added.