No less than President Benigno Aquino III graced the administration slate's local miting de avance at Tondo Thursday, but 10 of 12 Team PNoy bets were not on the stage.
Only reelectionist Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero and former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar attended the Tondo rally led by reelectionist Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim at Tondo's Plaza Hernandez.
Escudero said he made it a point to come to show support for Lim, who he claimed is a distant relative.
"Hindi ko ho mapapalagpas ang pagkakataong tumayo sa likod, tabi, o harap ni Mayor Lim (I cannot pass on the chance I to stand behind, beside, or in front of Mayor Lim)," Escudero said.
Villar, for her part, basked in the warm welcome of Tondo, where her husband, Sen. Manuel "Manny" Villar, was born and raised.
Six other candidates have sent representatives, as they made the most out of the campaign period through sorties in other areas.
Former National Youth Commissioner Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino sent wife Timmy; reelectionist Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, his wife, Arlene; and Aurora Rep. Sommy Angara, his wife Tootsie.
Reelectionist Senator Aquilino Martin "Koko" Pimentel was represented by his mother, Bing. Former Senator Ramon "Jun" Magsaysay meanwhile sent his son, Paco; and former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, her friend courtside reporter Dianne Ferrrer.
The remaining four candidates in the Team PNoy slate did not make their presence felt.
These included reelectionists Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano, former Sen. Jamby Madrigal and former censors chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Team PNoy is set to attend another miting de avance Friday at Amoranto Sports Arena in Quezon City before the May 13 polls. Lim claimed victory for Team PNoy in Tondo this early, brushing off claims that the area is the bailiwick of his rival, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada.
The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …