James Yap to join Noynoy's Sorties in Mindanao Next Week, Surigao also

Basketball star James Yap will join the provincial sorties of his brother-in-law, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in vote-rich Mindanao this week.

The 28-year-old husband of television host Kris Aquino-Yap has been included in LP’s campaign in Zamboanga City, Cotabato City, Butuan City, Surigao and Davao del Norte, starting tomorrow until the weekend.

Yap’s appearance in sorties was also mentioned in ABS-CBN’s “The Buzz” showbiz talk show last Sunday.

The LP would like to strengthen its showing in Mindanao, which has 12 million registered voters.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey taken on Feb. 21-25, Aquino obtained 38 percent while former President Joseph Estrada got 31 percent voter preference in Mindanao.

Aquino, a basketball fan, said Yap’s presence would help boost his campaign, particularly because the Purefoods player has a very strong fan base.

Aquino remains the frontrunner in surveys, garnering a total of 36 percent, while his closest rival, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., got 29 percent.

Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, told reporters Aquino has a strong showing in Davao City, Ozamis City and Misamis Occidental.

They plan to visit 23 provinces in the next three weeks, he added.

The 50-year-old Aquino was in high spirits last week, as thousands attended the LP rally at the Ninoy Aquino Freedom Park in Dumaguete City fronting the Negros Oriental provincial capitol.

Aquino was also delighted that Purefoods had a clean 4-0 sweep over Alaska in the Philippine Basketball Association championship, and Yap was chosen Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the conference. “Sasama na si James sa mga susunod na lakad (James will be joining us in the next sorties),” he said.

Yap’s young son Baby James, however, will not yet be joining the campaign. “Si Baby James hinahanap ng tao (People are looking for Baby James),” he added.

Aquino’s maternal uncle, former ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., owns the Purefoods team, along with three other PBA teams - San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra, and Coca-Cola.

Cojuangco is chairman of San Miguel Corp.

When asked when his sister Kris would be joining them, Aquino said she is still recuperating from the head injury she sustained in a recent fall, but will be joining them soon, especially once she has fulfilled all her obligations with the TV network.

Kris will be on leave or on vacation temporarily from some of her television shows to join the campaign, Aquino said. – Delon Porcalla, philstar


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