Mayors and officials of five of Laguna’s biggest and most prosperous towns and cities came out in force to show support for the tandem of Partido Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III in their “Online Kamustahan” event at Cabuyao City over the weekend.
Represented in the socially distanced gathering at the Nevelga Farm were host Cabuyao Mayor Rommel Gecolea, who gave a video message welcoming Lacson and Sotto, and Alaminos Mayor Ruben D. Alvarez, as they joined hundreds of Partido Reporma members and supporters in attendance.
Joining via video link to 23 sites across the province were City Mayors Arlene Arcillas of Santa Rosa, Arman Dimaguila of Binan, and Timmy Chipeco of Calamba, along with barangay chairmen and representatives from non-government, youth, and civil society organizations.
Lacson, who is running for president in the May 2022 elections, and Sotto have pledged to put local government units first under their flagship Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) agenda.
The towns represented by the five mayors in the gathering account for a population of 1.495 million or nearly half of Laguna’s 3.38 million residents as of the 2020 census – and a combined revenue of over P14 billion as of 2020, according to the province’s profile on the Gov.PH/DTI website.
Lacson thanked the mayors and their officials for their attendance as well as the support of Laguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones, who represents San Pablo City and the towns of Alaminos, Calauan, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, and Victoria in the House of Representatives.
The longtime senator even recounted a funny anecdote about Aragones, the former broadcast journalist who is running for governor of Laguna in next year’s polls following three straight terms in Congress.
Lacson recalled that sometime in 2005, Aragones was doggedly chasing him with her TV crew as he joined a rally in Makati over the “Hello Garci” and fertilizer scam issues. When Aragones finally caught up with him, it was only to ask the senator to be a “ninong” or one of her wedding sponsors, he revealed to the crowd’s amusement.
The former Philippine National Police chief, who is running for the presidency a second time, and Sotto thanked their supporters for always making them their top two choices for the Senate in Laguna in past elections, which helped them serve a combined 42 years in the Upper Chamber.
“Kung ang eleksyon ay dito sa Laguna, panalo na tayo. (If the elections are held here in Laguna, we will win),” Sotto told their supporters at the Nevalga Farm assembly hall in Barangay Sala, Cabuyao.
Lacson and Sotto campaigned in Laguna together with Partido Reporma senatorial candidates Manuel “Monsour” del Rosario and Paolo “Powee” Capino, as well as Dr. Dominga “Minguita” Padilla, who joined the event via Zoom from Baguio City, Benguet province.
The senator’s former colleagues in the PNP, retired Police Generals Rey Lanada and Edwin Corvera, also showed up to support Lacson and Sotto.