UNA senatorial bets coming to Malaybalay for Kaamulan 2013 celebration

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/01 March)- -Senatorial candidates of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) are set to hold a campaign sortie here during the Kaamulan 2013 festival fireworks display tomorrow (March 2), tourism officer Joe-An Bayona Henderin said.

Henderin told MindaNews that former President Joseph Estrada and Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed they are coming with the party’s senatorial slate, which includes former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, son of Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr, who is again running for governor.

But the Provincial Tourism Office could not say who really from the UNA senatoriables are coming.

Henderin said that UNA would bring celebrities during a two-hour party in the run-up to the fireworks display Saturday evening.

On Saturday morning, the annual street dancing competition, which is among the highlights of Kaamulan festival, would be held with seven participating contingents.

But Henderin clarified that none of the candidates will be the guest of honor during the street dancing event.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. was invited but declined due to a prior appointment, she said.

Activities for the Kaamulan 2013 festival started on February 18 and will end on March 10.

The opposition senatorial bets are coming three days after the Liberal Party (LP) senatorial bets attended a youth forum on “educational, social, and environmental issues” at the Bukidnon State University (BSU).

Sources at BSU said it was supposedly a forum where Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Neric Acosta, a former Bukidnon representative, was the resource speaker.

But Acosta accommodated the LP senatorial candidates who had a campaign sortie in neighboring Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday.

Bukidnon Vice Governor  Zubiri, whose local Paglaum Party is reportedly allied with the local LP bets, was not around in the event.

Former senator Jamby Madrigal, the President’s cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, and former Rep. Cynthia Villar attended the forum. Senators Franklin Drilon and Teofisto Guingona III joined the LP slate.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III sent a cousin, former Senator Loren Legarda sent her son, Senator Francis Escudero sent an audio-visual presentation, and Movie and Television Ratings and Classification Board chair Grace Poe Llamanzares sent an actress cousin to the forum.

Acosta apologized for the changes made in the forum because of the presence of the candidates at the end of the event.

BSU officials and students stayed towards the end, with BSU president Victor Barroso even giving a citation to Villar for her contribution in upgrading the former Bukidnon State College to university status during her time in the House of Representatives.

Officials of the Mindanao University for Science and Technology (MUST) also did the same for Villar during their Cagayan de Oro sortie a day before. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)