Saturday, March 30, 2013

Braganza-Lomibao Team Kicks off Campaign

Gubernatorial candidate Hernani Braganza and his running mate Arturo Lomibao formally kick off their electoral campaign dubbed “Lakbay Pangasinan, Lakbay Pagbabago” tomorrow (April 1) with barangay sorties and town hall meetings in the towns of Urbiztondo, Mangatarem and Bugallon, hoping to deliver their messages directly to voters even in far-flung barrios. Braganza, the mayor of Alaminos City, explained that the Liberal Party in Pangasinan would focus on grassroots campaigning as part of its effort to reach the greatest number of voters possible in the 45-day campaign period.

 “We will go directly to the voters to listen to their concerns and to deliver our messages,” said the LP’s gubernatorial bet. “We will attend the rallies organized by our local candidates in the town plazas, but we will devote most of our time interacting with our fellow Pangasinenses in the barrios,” he added.
 Braganza noted that the barangay consultations would be interactive in character, enabling voters not just to see and hear the candidates but also giving them the chance to articulate their aspirations for a better Pangasinan.
 Voters and residents will also be encouraged to become an integral part of the campaign in their respective barangays by spearheading a series of localized activities -- such as vote’s education-- aimed to promote the programs of the Braganza-Lomibao team to as many citizens as possible.
 Braganza admitted that grassroots campaigning might be physically taxing on him and his running mate given the fact that Pangasinan has the biggest land area among the provinces with almost 1.6 million voters. But Braganza noted that he and Lomibao, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), are prepared physically and mentally to undertake such a rigorous campaign schedule. “Grassroots campaigning is the only way to counter the traditional use of guns, goons and gold by our political rivals,” said Braganza, a former student activist and an advocate of grassroots campaigning.
 Braganza noted that his supporters from religious, civic and business groups would also campaign in the grassroots level, particularly in areas that he could no longer visit due to time constraints. “Aside from the Liberal Party machinery, the organizations in the grassroots level have committed to campaign for our ticket and ensure the victory of Team P-Noy in Pangasinan,” he said. “Our youth groups, on the other hand, have committed to campaign actively in the social media to reach voters in the cities and other urban areas,” he added. Keeping within Comelec-prescribed limits, for a change The barangay sorties and town hall meetings would also allow the Liberal Party candidates to spend for the campaign within the limit prescribed by law and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Braganza explained. Under the law, a local candidate is allowed to spend only PhP3 for every voter. This means that a local candidate in Pangasinan, which has 1.6 million voters, is limited to spend only PhP4.8 million during the campaign period.
 “Traditionally, candidates are obliged to provide food and spend for transportation during big rallies. That, in itself, is a violation of election laws,” Braganza pointed out. Braganza said he had also advised his supporters to follow strictly the Comelec guidelines in the printing and posting of campaign posters and other paraphernalia. “I have advised them against printing oversized posters, banners and streamers. I also advised them not to post campaign posters outside the Comelec-sanctioned areas,” he added.

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