By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
SAN PEDRO, Laguna — With the 2022 elections drawing near, national candidates make their last-ditch effort to secure as many votes as possible.
For the tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, wooing voters in the country’s vote-rich regions would be the strategy during the last stretch of the campaign.
The two started the week in Cebu, which is the most vote-rich province in the country with more than 3.2 million voters — nearly one million votes more than the second most vote-rich province, Cavite.
They then returned to Southern Luzon on Wednesday, with Marcos campaigning in Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro whiles Duterte-Carpio met with several sectors in Batangas.
The Southern Luzon leg for the week ended in Laguna on Thursday with a grand rally in Biñan.
In an interview with reporters following a local event in San Pedro town in Laguna, Duterte-Carpio explained this move to return to several provinces and regions that they have already visited before.
“Because dito sa Calabarzon, dito sa Central Luzon and sa Bicol as well as Western Visayas, mayroon pa akong maikampanya na mga boto (There are votes I can still campaign for in Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Western Visayas),” Duterte-Carpio said.
Data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show that the most vote-rich regions in the country are Calabarzon (9.19 million voters), which includes Laguna and Batangas; the National Capital Region (7.3 million voters); Central Luzon (7.2 million voters); Central Visayas (5.2 million), which includes Cebu; and Western Visayas (5 million).
The Bicol region ranks sixth with 3.9 million voters.
The Marcos-Duterte tandem was also scheduled to visit Bulacan province in the Central Luzon region and Taguig City in the NCR this coming weekend.
Asked if Marcos is following the same strategy as her, Duterte-Carpio said she does not know as they have different campaign teams.
In some instances, Marcos and Duterte-Carpio attend events separately— earlier this week, for instance, the presidential bet was in the Mindoro provinces in the morning while the vice presidential bet was in Batangas. They met later in the afternoon for a grand rally in Lipa City.
This is a part of the tandem’s strategy, said Duterte-Carpio.
“That is really the strategy of the UniTeam–that we cannot be together all the time otherwise we will not be able to cover the entire Philippines,” she said in February.