The magic of star power on Tuesday replaced the flamboyant atmosphere that marked the first day of the formal entry of aspirants in the Senate derby next year.
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero was alone when he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC).
Gone were the brass bands and ati-atihan and dragon dancers that
gave the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a carnival air on Monday as
eight senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)
trooped there to file their COCs in the elections next May.
Clad in a leather jacket and tight jeans, Escudero—the
reelectionist guest candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party
(LP) and UNA—gamely posed for photos for all and sundry who asked,
including the Comelec staff processing COCs.
But he was also pounded by questions on why he did not come with
celebrity Heart Evangelista, his rumored girlfriend. “She’s resting, I
think,” he told a reporter.
A shrieking and camera- and mobile phone-toting mob also gathered
when actor and TV host Willie Revillame arrived to support and endorse
former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, a senatorial aspirant of the
ruling party, to make her candidacy official yesterday.
Accompanied by her husband, Sen. Manny Villar, and her son, Mark,
an incumbent Las Piñas representative, Cynthia Villar was the first LP
candidate to file her COC in the Comelec.
“We were busy yesterday because of the proclamation rally so we
thought this would be a good time,” said Villar, who will run on a
platform focusing on the care of overseas Filipino workers and the
protection of the environment, among others.
‘Manang Henia’ mobbed
Actress Susan Roces also commanded a modest, star-struck crowd
when she came Tuesday afternoon with her daughter Grace Poe-Llamanzares,
chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
Grace filed her COC for senator.
Comelec employees took turns posing for photos with the actress
while the others were content with just ogling her through the glass
panels that divided the main hallway of the Palacio del Gobernador and
the Comelec’s project management office, where the COCs were being
Others merrily called her “Manang Henia,” a role Roces currently
plays on ABS-CBN’s telenovela, “Walang Hanggan,” which also stars
Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta and Helen Gamboa.
The actress said the Comelec office brought
back bittersweet memories of her late husband, actor Fernando Poe Jr.,
who ran and lost to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the presidential race in
“A lot of memories came rushing back to me
the first time I accompanied my husband, Ronnie, to register. I also
remembered the first time I accompanied [Grace] to her school when she
was in kindergarten,” Roces told reporters in an interview. Her
recollection almost brought her daughter to tears.
For her part, Llamanzares said she decided
to join the senatorial race to be of service to the Filipino people
through hard work and also to push for social welfare programs,
particularly for children, that her father had wanted to pursue.
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