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Noynoy camp relies on local media for greater reach to voters

Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is banking on the local media to reach voters in the provinces.

Visits to local radio stations in provinces where he is campaigning is part of the new strategy the LP is employing to further spread their message, Aquino told reporters in a press briefing late Thursday night.

"Gusto natin ma-broaden ang reach. Nag-assess kami puntahan namin invitation-driven, malayo sa target (We want to broaden our reach. We have assessed that the areas we go to are invitation driven, sometimes far from the target)," Aquino said. "So maximization of local media is [the] new strategy."

Aquino's closest rival, Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr., is known to be the biggest ad spender among presidential candidates.

Aquino has scheduled interviews on two local radio stations in Surigao del Norte Friday morning before flying off to Davao City to meet with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. He said he noticed that there is always a large crowd awaiting him if they especially inform the local media in the province they are campaigning.

On Thursday night, even the terraces of the Surigao State College of Technology where they held their campaign rally was filled with spectators hoping to get a glimpse of the LP standard bearer, who entered the campus with his running mate Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.

"Isa ito sa pinakamainit na pagtanggap sa amin sa buong Pilipinas, hinding-hindi namin makakalimutan ito (This is one of the places where we are warmly welcomed... we won't forget this)," Roxas said when he finally got onstage. He and Aquino were loudly cheered by the crowd, composed mostly of students, who flashed the Laban sign.

Organizers estimated the number of people who showed up at 7,000, including those who filled the campus and those who lined up the streets outside. A local police officer told GMANews.TV that they had a harder time controlling the crowd at Aquino's campaign rally than during Villar's visit to the same city a week ago.

The apparently warm welcome came even though Surigao del Norte is said to be dominated by Villar's NP. Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace Barbers is seeking reelection under the NP, while the city mayor, Alfonso Casurra, is seeking a congressional seat also under the NP.

Aquino said even he was surprised at the strong showing, especially since his primary sortie this week was in Zamboanga City where his sister, celebrity Kris Aquino, joined for the first time.

"Isipin natin, parang ang maximum na nakuha nila, four days' notice at emphasize na may primary tapos secondary lang ang rally pero naglabasan pa rin ang di makapasok, naghihintay pa rin (I think they only got a maximum of four days' notice and the rally was only secondary but people still came out, they still waited)," he said. - JOHANNA CAMILLE L. SISANTE/RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV

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