The five presidential candidates took aim at each of their opponents on the first day of the campaign period yesterday, February 9.
The candidates and their running mates kicked off their campaigns in their respective strongholds.
Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo were in Roxas City in Capiz.
Jejomar Binay held his proclamation rally in Welfareville, a slum area in Mandaluyong City.
He was with his running mate Gringo Honasan and his party’s senatorial candidates, including actress Alma Moreno, world-class boxer Manny Pacquiao, and broadcaster Rey Langit.
Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate Alan Peter Cayetano launched their campaign in Tondo, Manila.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago opened her campaign in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, the hometown of her running mate, Bongbong Marcos.
Grace Poe and her running mate Chiz Escudero held their proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda, along with the party’s senatorial candidates among whom are celebrities—senators Ralph Recto and Tito Sotto and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.
ADVERSARIAL. Roxas was combatant in his proclamation speech.
"This is a fight worth fighting for,” he opened to the cheers of his supporters.
“Hindi tayo magpapatalo sa mga abusado, sa mga manloloko.
“At higit sa lahat, hindi tayo magpapatalo sa mga magnanakaw.”
Binay, the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance, was as fiery.
He criticized the Aquino government for its failure to reduce poverty and maintain peace and order in the country.
He said, “Halos anim na taon na ang lumipas ngunit hanggang ngayon, lubhang napakailap pa rin ng kasaganahan.
“Noon, hanggang ngayon, may mga kababayan tayong kumakain ng isang beses lamang sa isang araw.
“Milyun-milyon ang graduate ng kolehiyo na hirap na hirap makakuha ng trabaho.
“Halos anim na taon na ang dumaan ngunit lubhang napakailap pa rin ng katahimikan.
“Araw-araw, kabi-kabila ang nakawan at patayan, at lalong lumaganap ang problema ng illegal drugs.”
Sharp-tongued Duterte also hit the Aquino government, saying that the administration’s slogan “Daang Matuwid” does not exist.
The PDP-Laban standard bearer cited the controversies under Aquino’s watch, including the “tanim-bala” debacle at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the corruption at the Bureau of Customs.
Duterte promised to end crime and corruption in six months once he is elected.
Santiago, the standard bearer of the Peope’s Reform Party, without naming names, took a jab at her opponents.
Sge said, “Yung isa naman ang daming scandal tungkol sa pagnanakaw ng pera.
“Merong isa, hindi sigurado kung saan siya pinanganak.”
Poe, on the the other hand, made the story of her life the centerpiece of her proclamation speech.
She was abandoned as an infant outside a cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo. She was later adopted by the late Fernando Poe Jr. and his wife Susan Roces.
The standard bearer of the Nationalist People’s Coalition said she relates to the poor, “Nandito ako para sa inyo. Nandito ako dahil pare-pareho tayong may pinaghuhugutan.”