Candidates for the next president of the Philippines are making a final push to court voters in the May 9 national election.
As candidates line up their respective miting de avance rallies, supporters outside the country, including in Vancouver, are also making final preparations for the polls.
On May 1, dueling events were staged in Metro Vancouver by supporters of Leni Robredo and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Robredo, currently Vice President of the Philippines, is running with her vice president candidate Senator
The Vancouver Coalition for Leni and Kiko held a miting de avance on May 1 at the King George/Cambie Community Park in Richmond.
Around 500-600 supporters showed up at the event, which turned the park pink from the campaign colour of Robredo.
Marcos is running with Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.
On May 1, an indoor event was organized by Tapsilog (FilCan Network for Truth and Justice) for the Marcos-Duterte ticket at the Victoria Drive Community Hall in Vancouver.
Presidential candidates, their running mates, and senatorial slates will conclude three months of campaigning through their respective miting de avance rallies.
Labor leader Leody de Guzman will be joined by the entire slate of Partido Lakas ng Masa, his running mate Walden Bello and senatorial candidates Luke Espiritu, Roy Cabonegro, and David D’Angelo in their miting de avance in Quezon City Memorial Circle covered court on May 4, at 6 p.m.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto will deviate from the usual miting de avance to cap off the three-month campaign. They will instead visit Carmona, Cavite on May 6.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio kicked off their miting de avance in Guimbal town in Iloilo on May 3 for the Visayas leg of their final push.
They will then head to Mindanao on Thursday, May 5, to court voters in the hometown of the Dutertes. They will hold a major event in the Tagum City Hall grounds in Davao del Norte province.
Their nationwide miting de avance will end near Solaire in Parañaque City on Saturday, May 7, the last day of campaigning.
Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso will meet with his constituents in the last stretch of the campaign season on May 7 in Moriones, Tondo.
Senator Manny Pacquiao is set to hold two grand events before the last day of campaigning. He is slated to hold a miting de avance in Cebu City on May 6 and in his hometown in General Santos City on May 7.
Robredo will hold her miting de avance on Saturday, May 7, along Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue in Makati City at 5 p.m.
This means the Marcos and Robredo camps will both hold their major event on the same night in neighboring Metro Manila cities.
Marcos has been leading surveys, with Robredo following second.
Before the Makati event, Robredo will go back to her home region Bicol for a series of grand rallies in Sorsogon, Legazpi, and her hometown Naga on May 6.
Robredo’s camp is expecting at least half a million people to attend her miting de avance in Makati City on May 7.
Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said they are expecting more attendees than the Vice President’s grand rally in Pasay City last April 23 where 400,000 people participated in the event.
The event coincided with Robredo’s 57th birthday.
“We expect that this will be more. Conservatively, I think the campaign is banking on at least half a million although some are saying we can easily hit a million attendees to the Saturday miting de avance in NCR,” Gutierrez said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
Gutierrez said Robredo is currently going around the country, visiting several provinces as the campaign period is set to end on May 7.
While the latest pre-election survey from Pulse Asia placed Robredo in second place, trailing behind Marcos, on preferred presidential bets, Gutierrez said they are still confident that the Vice President will clinch the victory on the May 9 polls.
This is based on the level of citizen mobilization and volunteer engagement seen in Robredo’s campaign, Gutierrez said, which he said he has never seen before in previous elections.
“I am really banking on the fact that in every other election I have seen, I have not seen this level of citizen mobilization and volunteer engagement for any candidate and that is really the special thing about this election and regardless of the outcome,” he said.
A miting de avance is considered the “go-home show” of the campaign period before the national and local elections, which in this case will be held on Monday, May 9.
There would be no campaigning allowed on Sunday, May 8, the eve of the elections.
Marcos and Duterte have consistently led presidential and vice presidential surveys, respectively.
House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez, one of Duterte-Carpio’s campaign managers, said he expects hundreds of thousands of supporters to attend the miting de avance events.
“These are the culmination of our cross-country campaign visits. In behalf of our candidates, let me express our sincere gratitude to our supporters, local officials, and community and sectoral leaders, and ordinary Filipinos who have been helping and supporting us. Let us keep it up until we achieve victory,” Romualdez said.