TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines- A waiting crowd of about 40,000 with waving banners, cheering and shouting with joyful movements amazed the Nacionalista Party (NP) top leaders who visited this city Wednesday afternoon.
At exactly 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez who personally fetched his party mates at the DZR airport in Barangay San Jose, shook hands with Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Bongbong Marcos and senatorial candidate Peter Allan Cayetano, before escorting the three to the Tacloban Astrodome with the jam-packed crowd. Sen. Trillanes was not able to arrive due to other important engagement.
The trio OF NP leaders told newsmen at the airport that they were in the city to support and endorse the bid of Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM Romualdez , including their entire slate to run for a reelection.
FM Romualdez, however, runs unopposed in his congressional bid.
“Kinakampanya natin ang mga senador ng partido at ang mga kandidato natin sa local level. Napakahalaga sa amin ang pagbisita dito sa Tacloban kasi ito ay aming maging last ‘hurrah’ ng kampanya dahil sa lunes ay eleksyon na. Higit sa lahat nandito din tayo para sa malaking suporta sa aking pinsan kay Mayor Alfred Romualdez at Cong. FM Romualdez,” Sen. Marcos said, adding that their visit to the city signifies their full support in bringing progress to Tacloban from the national level coalition.
“Our visit here would also remind voters that NP is the strongest party we have in the country. We are solid, we are united, and we remain committed to each other and to our programs. Tulong-tulong kami lahat para maipaabot ang aming suporta sa mga programa ng gobyerno at sa ating mga kandidato” Sen. Marcos added.
“Pagka hinalal ang isang Alfred Romualdez, ay nandito sa likod niya kaming lahat. Kahit hindi kami pinakamalaki na partido ngunit kami naman ang pinaka malakas, at kitang kita naman natin ang mga membro na walang iwanan. Lahat kami ay tutulong . Pagka hinalal si Mayor Alfred, kasama kami lahat ng NP para sa pagpa ganda ng Tacloban.”
On his part, Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez said that the city remains NP’s “home party” since he can recall, considering the party membership of the late House Speaker Daniel Romualdez and the late ambassador and Leyte governor Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez.
“I am thankful of the coming of the NP here in the city. We are proud that they are here and I welcome them. Their visit is meaningful to us, especially to our cousin Sen. Marcos. Also if you look at Sen Manny Villar and his wife senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar, they have done so much to region 8 as they’ve invested here through their Camilla Homes and other programs benefiting many people,” said Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
Asked on his message to his constituents on Monday’s election, Mayor Romualdez urged everyone to guard their votes and be united for a peaceful and honest elections.
With regards to other senators they will be supporting particularly with the administration candidates, mayor Romualdez said: “We are bound to support the senators of the Team PNoy…However in the end, it all depends to the people and the programs of the senators. The people will judge them according to their programs come election day.”
Aside from being grateful of NP party president Sen. Villar and cousin Sen. Marcos, the mayor also acknowledged the forthcoming developments in the city if Sen. Cayetano will win a seat in the Senate.
“As everyone knows Tacloban is also a ‘university city’ with our many graduates from big universities and colleges here, the NP plays an important role in bringing investors and employment thru Sen. Cayetanos’ ‘Presyo, Trabaho, at Kabuhayan’ program. Sen. Cayetano is here to address that for our city especially also with the many OFWs coming from our region.”
Asked on the kind of support Sen. Cayetano has for Mayor Romauldez and his wife councilor and re-electionist Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, Cayetano said:
“Nakasama ko siya (Mayor Romualdez) dati sa Congress noong naging congressman din ako. Beside we are true friends and brothers in Christ, at iyong husband and wife tandem nila , na touch din kami na mag-asawa…They are humble and really have a desire to help and run the city well. I have to respond.”
“I’m happy to know that when it comes to economy, tulong tulong kahit anong kulay. Tulad ng sinabi ni Pres. Aquino, sa pulitika pwede magkaiba tayo pero sa ekonomiya tayo ay magkakampi,” Cayetano added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Villar recognized the administration of Mayor Romualdez being an award-winning city and booming in its local economy.
He is also endorsing the candidacy of his wife senatoriable Cynthia Villar, adding that his wife can continue the plan he has started, particularly on bringing more livelihood and employment to the people.
“Maganda na ating ekonomiya pero kulang ng hanapbuhay. Kailangan ang pag lago ng ekonomiya ay ang pag dami ng trabaho, kaya kailangan natin si Cynthia sa senado para maipagpatuloy ito. Also kailangan ang partnership, we have to give regional approach to everything, thus we have seen this also in Tacloban, on investing more programs here thru NP partymates in the national.”
Meanwhile, asked about his candidacy in Tacloban, the mayor said he is confident that voters in Tacloban are result-oriented, and that they have been seeing this in his administration since his first and second terms as mayor that Tacloban is growing as a city particularly when it turned into highly urbanized city under his term in 2008.
Mayor Romualdez’s brand of leadership has earned him support from veteran lawmaker and re-electionist – Atty. Edwin Y. Chua, and above all, from his wife –children and health advocate re-electionist Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez.
Also with re-electionists urban developer Victor Emmanuel “Willy” Domingo, entrepreneur Jeric Dane “Tata” Grandos and academian/youth leader Edward Frederick Chua.
Mayor Romualdez’s Team Tisoy (which also stands for a team with good intentions) also include Brando Bernadas, a former seminarian and a dedicated government worker; father and son Noel and Bom Malate, representing the labor sector; Fred Padernos, media man and urban poor advocate; and Dr. Elvie Galapon-Casal, women and health advocate.With Ricky J. Bautista
More photos during the Nacionalista Party and Mayor Alfred Romualdez’ s Team Tisoy proclamation rally. Photos courtesy of Tim Canes