Presidential bets woo voters one last time as campaign season closes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 7) – A fitting climax marked the last day of campaigning for presidential candidates as some of them held their respective miting de avance, including one who opted for a caravan, to court voters for the final time before Monday's elections.

Four candidates gathered supporters for their miting de avance in key areas on Saturday.

Former senator Bongbong Marcos, Jr., who is perennially leading in surveys, held his in front of the Solaire Hotel Resort and Casino in Paranaque City.

Marcos Jr. emphasized again his desire for unity among Filipinos as being the key for the country to progress from its problems.

"Ang taumbayan po ay hindi na naghintay sa halalan. Ang taumbayan po, noong narinig ang aming mensahe, ang aming adhikain ng pagkakaisa, ay sinimulan na ang pagkakaisa kaya ating nararamdaman ngayon na ang buong Pilipinas ay dahan-dahan nang nagkakaisa," Marcos Jr. said.

[Translation: The people did not wait for the elections. The citizens, when they heard our message and our goal of unity, started to unify themselves. That's why we are seeing now that the whole Philippines is gradually being united.]

In Makati City, Vice President Leni Robredo drew a large crowd of supporters wearing her signature pink hue along Ayala Avenue. Initial estimation by organizers and rescue teams noted there were about 780,000 attendees as of 9 p.m., but authorities have yet to verify this.

"Pinatunayan niyo ngayon, parating may magagawa ang Pilipino," Robredo told the crowd. "[M]araming maraming salamat sa inyong lahat dahil sinabayan ninyo akong ipaglaban ang ating bansa."

[Translation: You have proven that the Filipino can always do something. Thank you to all of you because you joined me in fighting for our country.]

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao held their separate miting de avance in their hometowns -- Tondo, Manila and General Santos City, respectively.

Moreno's event reached a crowd of 30,000 as of 7 p.m. according to the Manila Police District. He took a swipe at Robredo during his speech.

“Ang krisis, hindi nare-resolba ng lugaw," said the mayor, referring to what critics call Robredo. “Kung ayaw niyo ng lugaw, burger kayo sa akin.”

[Translation: We cannot solve a crisis with rice porridge. If you do not want porridge, you will get a burger from me.]

Pacquiao, on the other hand, pushed voters to choose their leaders carefully.

"Lagi tayong nagsisisi mula noon hanggang ngayon kaya huwag tayo magsisi ngayon. Bumoto tayo ng maayos sa tunay na nagmamahal sa bayan at naexperience ang hirap ng buhay," said the senator.

[Translation: We have always been regretting, that is why we should not do something we will again regret. Vote who truly loves our country and who has gone through life's troubles.]

These in-person miting de avance featured some of the candidates' running mates and senatorial slates, with a number of celebrity guests as well.

Former defense chief Norberto Gonzales conducted a hybrid version of a miting de avance in Marikina City.

"Bagamat tayo po ay magkikita kita pakatapos ng eleksyon, huwag nating isugal ang ating napagkasunduan. Ituloy po natin ang paghikayat sa ating mga kababayan na bumoto sa Lunes," he said in an online message.

[Translation: Although we will see each other after the elections, let us not take any risks. Let us continue encouraging people to vote on Monday]

For Senator Ping Lacson, he chose to do a caravan throughout Calabarzon. His route included stopping by markets and plazas.

"I consider this run, this campaign as fulfilling in the sense na [that] somehow, whatever happens, makapag-iwan kami ng legacy na 'yung [we will leave a legacy of] voter's enlightenment, voter's education, na [that] politics or campaign is not just about entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment," Lacson told reporters. "There's also such things as issues, issue-based campaign and that's what we tried to achieve."

Meanwhile, labor leader Leody De Guzman attended the Pandesal forum in Quezon City. He had his miting de avance days before.

"Good enough 'yung aming nagawa sa nakaraan, considering na wala kaming bilyones tulad nung iba, lalo na si Marcos…Wala kaming pera at walang materyal na pwedeng ibigay pero sa usapin ng kampanya, ng mga sorties, at plataporma ay lamang na lamang kami sa kanila," said De Guzman.

[Translation: What we have done is good enough, considering we don't have billions like the others, especially Marcos. We don't have money and materials to give out, but we are very much ahead in terms of campaign, sorties, and platforms.]