Press Release
March 29, 2010

Mammoth crowd in Naga rally validates Bicol vote for Villar

A mammoth crowd of over 300,000 people gathered at the Naga City Freedom Stadium on Sunday night that was dubbed as by far the largest political rally ever assembled by the Nacionalista Party.

The huge crowd turnout in Naga City validates what local officials here say all along - that Bicolandia is for NP standard-bearer Manny Villar.

According to Senior Supt. Petrono Abdon Retirado, the special events supervisor of the Philippine National Police provincial command in Camarines Sur, the crowd estimate at the start of the event early in the evening was pegged at 160,000.

But as the evening progressed on, it swelled to more than 300,000, exceeding the huge 250,000 crowd registered in NP's Cabanatuan City political rally.

Villar's running-mate Sen. Loren Legarda and members of the NP senatorial slate were pleased to have addressed a very huge crowd.

The two bleachers of the stadium were filled to the brim, while the stadium field and open area were occupied by a sea of NP supporters.

Among the NP senatorial candidates who addressed the crowd were: Gwen Pimentel, Pia Cayetano, Gilbert Remulla, Liza Maza, Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra, Toots Ople, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Martin Loon (son of Marine Col. Ariel Querubin).

After the political rally, the "Wowowee meets Rockatropa" concert began, which featured Willie Revillame, the Kembot Girls and popular bands, such as 6 Cycle Mind and others.

It also featured performances from Randy Santiago, John Estrada, Jessa Zaragosa, Alyanna, Ara Mina and Andrew E.

One of the highlights of the evening concert was the performance of international boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao.

At one point, Villar, Pacquiao and Revillame were on stage at the same time to enliven the crowd.

Pacquiao again dispelled rumors that he was paid by Villar for his support in the coming May elections.

"Noong kinausap po ako ni Senator Villar para hingin ang aking suporta, ang sabi ko po ay wala tayong perang pag-uusapan," Pacquiao said.

"Ang importante po sa akin, kapag kayo po ay naging presidente ay tulungan niyo ang ating mga kababayang naghihirap."

He said he didn't need money for any political endorsement.

"Sapat na po ang aking kinikita sa boxing," he said.

Pacquiao then continued to tell his story of the difficulties his family had endured when he was a young boy. It was a rags-to-riches story he shared with Villar.

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