Press Release
April 26, 2016


ILOCOS SUR--Local government officials in Ilocos Sur said they will work to deliver the coveted "Solid North" votes for independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, who has maintained a strong showing in the province.

First District Rep. Ronald Singson, who welcomed Poe in her campaign sortie in Vigan, said the senator continues to lead surveys in the district. He said Poe was the choice of 37 percent of voters while Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte trailed with 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Singson said Poe is popular among local officials, making a regional bloc vote possible.

"Hopefully, 'yon po ang inaayos namin dahil involved na rin po naman ako sa kampanya ni Sen. Grace Poe. So nag-uusap-usap naman kami," Singson told reporters when asked if his family can deliver a Solid North vote for Poe.

The Solid North is historically composed of three regions: Region 1 or the Ilocos Region, Region 2 or the Cagayan Valley, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Voting as a bloc, Solid North can deliver about five million votes. Ilocos Sur alone has more than 400,000 registered voters.

"Sa panahon po ngayon, pabago-bago 'yung survey kung sinong mananalong presidente--pabago-bago--'yung mga iba hindi pa sigurado, 'yung mga iba wait and see. Ang sabi ko, ngayon na po ang panahon para mamili tayo ng president. Ilagay natin ang presidenteng karapat-dapat na mag-lead dito sa ating bansa," Singson said in his speech at Poe's rally at the Vigan Convention Center.

"Para sa akin, wala nang iba kundi si Senator Grace Poe at ang kanyang Gobyernong may Puso dahil ang tingin ko po, siya lang po ang may kaya na magpatakbo ng gobyerno na makikinig sa ating lahat," he said.

The lawmaker told supporters that a Poe presidency would surely benefit Ilocos.

"Imposibleng makalimutan niya po ang Ilocos Sur sa mga plano niyang development para sa probinsiya natin," Singson said.

Poe vowed to prioritize infrastructure projects in the region such as upgrading the airport and seaport to attract more tourists.

She also said her government, if she wins, will put an end to the misuse and late distribution of excise tax shares from the tobacco industry. Ilocos Sur is the country's top tobacco producer, accounting for around 75 percent of the national output.

"Sabi nga ng ating mga local officials, mga mayor, kailangan magmakaawa ka pa sa gobyerno para ibigay ito. E pera naman talaga ninyo 'yon sapagkat nasa buwis 'yan e. Nakalaan 'yan talaga para sa inyong probinsya. Kaya 'pag ako ang pangulo, walang ipitan sa mga ganyan," Poe said.

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