By Ditas Lopez
Top Philippine presidential candidates wrapped up their three-month election campaign on Saturday before some of the biggest crowds in the capital in recent years, urging their supporters to turn up in force at voting centers on May 9.
Hundreds of thousands attended the final rallies of Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in numbers that their respective supporters said were a sign of victory. Organizers of both candidates claimed attendees at their events reached 1 million.
“We will win as long as we don’t sleep on Monday,” Marcos Jr., 64, told his supporters, hinting that election fraud takes place at night. He reiterated his characteristic speech about unity during the conclusion of his rally held at a lot in front of casinos in Paranaque City.
Robredo, 57, won the 2016 vice presidential election against Marcos Jr. with a slim margin of about 260,000 votes. A recent opinion poll from Pulse Asia showed Marcos Jr. as the leading presidential contender with 56% of the votes, with Robredo coming a distant second with 23%.
Google Trends, which reflects searches of entries related to presidential candidates, shows Robredo grabbing the most shares with 53% while Marcos Jr. had 26% in the past week, a result her supporters say predict a win for her.
The lone woman presidential candidate spoke of her vision of a country where no one would go hungry, there are efficient transportation networks and a justice system that works. She then asked her supporters not to lose hope.
“Trust that at the end of all the sweat, time and sacrifice, there is a victory waiting for us,” she said in her speech in Makati’s financial district.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also made his final push for the presidency in Tondo, Manila on Saturday. On Friday, boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao held his last campaign rally in his hometown General Santos City in Mindanao where he repeated his platform centered on fighting poverty.
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