Paz Pelaez, of the volunteers for Villar, said they intend to reach out to residents of far-flung barangays with their various activities like medical missions.
They also wanted to make the “real” Villar known to the people to contradict the various “black propaganda” against him.
“We wanted to expose the real character of Sen. Manny Villar. We believe in the competence and integrity of the person,” said Pelaez, who is the widow of the late presidential assistant for the Visayas Rhett Pelaez.
The group’s convenors, who started to meet sometime in 2009, gathered in a Cebu City restaurant yesterday to announce their activities and the purpose of their existence.
The convenors consist, among others, of doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs. Also with the group is Haji Rasul, head of the Muslim traders here.
Pelaez said the movement has offices in barangay Mambaling in Cebu City south district and along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City and now has 50, 000 to 60, 000 members from various parts of Cebu City and Cebu province. They also have chapters in Iloilo, Bacolod and Manila.
“Many are now part of the silent minority. We want them to come out and not be afraid anymore,” said Pelaez.
Asked where they get funds to mobilize and finance their activities, Paz said they spend their own money.
Pelaez said she and her late husband have been friends of Sen. Villar and his wife, Cynthia, for 10 years already.
The Villar couple were also among those who consoled with her when her husband died.
Businessman Ed Mendoza, another Villar volunteer, said that among the presidential candidates, it is Villar who presented a “complete program for business”.
Mendoza said he was especially convinced with Villar’s Divisoria economics policy which is aimed at providing financial assistance especially to small entrepreneurs.
“We need a person with a sound mind and one who is capable to run the country,” he said.
The volunteer group also believes in Villar’s five point agenda which will focus on the upliftment of agriculture, education, health, entrepreneurship and environment.
Emma Llamas, a volunteer, said she joined the movement to also help in the candidacy of her brother in law, NP senatorial candidate Ariel Querobin.
Meanwhile, deposed president Joseph Estrada’s supporters held a rally at Hawaiian Village, barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City last Wednesday.
The crowd was mostly from Olango and Sta. Rosa islands, and different barangays of Lapu-Lapu. The rally was organized by the PMP Partylist of Lapu-Lapu City, headed by mayoralty candidate, Belong Darnayla.
Comedians Inday Garutay and Tiyang Busil entertained the crowd.
Estrada arrived at 10:05 p.m. with his long time friend, Eddie Garcia.
Senatorial candidates of the party were all present, except for Gen. Danilo Lim, who was represented by his daughter, Antoinette Danica “Aika” T. Lim, and Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, represented by his son, Cholo Estrada.
In his campaign speech, Estrada vowed to finish his presidency which was cut short after he was impeached and found guilty of plunder. /WITH JEMARIE JANE AUGUSTO