“Political concerts”: The new campaign format

It was a political rally complete with speeches, confetti, free shirts, caps, loud sound systems and election jingles. But a young rock band group was on stage, not the candidate.

That’s how detained former senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan’s family launched his senatorial campaign Friday night at the Rizal Park here.

The crowd was treated to the usual antics in a political rally and head-banging rock band performances, too.

Honasan signed up as an independent senatorial candidate on February 7, even if he was jailed for charges of rebellion for his alleged role in the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.

Honasan’s wife Jane, said to be a Davaoeña, led the Honasans in the political rally.

Rocksteddy band performed at least seven songs to a partying crowd, composed mostly of young people, after a video of the former senator’s message was shown via an LCD projector.

He urged “fellow Mindanawons” not to allow their votes to be wasted as the rich’s vote is just the same as the poor’s vote.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte did not show up in the rally even if he is a known ally of Honasan. Duterte endorsed the administration party’s Team Unity senatorial candidates weeks earlier in the same venue.

But a tarpaulin used as the stage back draft in the rally showed a photo of the two together flaunting their big bikes. Another one showed the same photo with the slogan “Gringo Honasan sa Senado: Two for the Road to Peace and Progress”.

Kim, Honasan’s eldest son, spoke on behalf of his family and explained his father’s platform. He defended the two leaders’ friendship as “having gone beyond politics”.

In between numbers, Rocksteddy’s spiels were a mix of song introductions and campaign cheers like “Iboto natin ang lumalaban” (Let’s vote for the fighter.) They also modified a line from a popular television series’ theme song from “Super Hero” to “Super Gringo”.

Honasan’s daughter-in-law, female rock star Barbie Almalbis, also preformed two songs, and left to catch up a flight back to Manila.

The audience responded to the performances with cheers, claps, and dancing. A group of college students told MindaNews they went to a “free concert” not a rally.

One of them said, they might vote for Honasan because he is a “super hero” and a rebellious leader.

Kim clarified that his father is a rebel only in the sense that he fought for his beliefs. He denied they are encouraging rebelliousness among the youth, who composed most of the crowd. He said they put forward an issue-oriented rally based on Honasan’s platform on reform.

Police estimated the crowd to be around 3,000, one of the biggest here since the campaign period. Two teams of the police City Mobile Group and one from the military’s Task Force Davao were dispatched for the rally.


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

8 responses to ““Political concerts”: The new campaign format”

  1. foobarph says :

    surely, i would vote for honasan this coming election.

    not because my father wants him to win but in my opinion that… he’s “trying” survive along arroyo’s administration.

  2. Jun P. says :

    He’s been a senator already,ano ba nagawa nya?
    Even his old comrades in RAM is so disappointed of
    him,most of them keep their distance and withdrawing their
    support to him.

  3. Jonell Estillore says :

    recently lang, we had a project for my economics class. we had to interview an individual of the informal sector, i.e. street vendors. when i accompanied a friend on her interview, we got this old man who was inculcating on our minds that honasan should be voted by our teacher. oh, well. honasan. where is he? not the candidate, but a band on the stage to campaign. oh, well. if i were to vote at this early age, i would definitely scrutinize the candidates first and not just be contented with their unreasonable television ads, political jingles, etc. oh, well, again.

  4. Rudy Sarceno says :

    The Philippine politics is a hopeless case. He who has the money will
    always win. Think of the volume of money spent just to win. If all these
    monies are spent in infrastructures; hundreds if not thousands of kilometers of roads constructed, repaired and paved, hospitals and clinics built in every town, cities and barrios, water supply is available to every communities and the schools were built in every barrio with teachers receiving a livable if not a decent wage.

    Politicians search your souls, if you have any.

  5. kim honasan says :

    dear mr jun p

    you will not find the good my father has done in the news, on posters, in commercials, or in jingles. you will see it in the lives of each filipino he has helped. ask around.

    since he became soldier in the 70’s, a public figure in the 80’s and a senator in the 90’s til now, he has sacrificed his family. we lost him to the filipino people who he has vowed to fight for. but we understand. we have to. because without men like him, men who do not sit and watch, men who act we would not have this country, despite all its problems, to love, to protect, and to fight for.

    you may not agree with what my father stands for, jun. but you have to respect him for fighting for what he believes in.

  6. Jun P says :

    I agree with you Kim,I dont know your father as much
    as you do.Im only speaking according to what his
    former comrades in RAM-AFP-YOU were saying
    which are mostly critical of him.Do you know why?

  7. kim honasan says :

    dear mr jun p

    sadly, i have have to say that the root of all these criticisms is power.
    when my father ran and won, some members of RAM-AFP-YOU assumed that they would be placed in positions of power and influence.
    my father is very principled when it comes to issues of abuse of authority.
    his stint as senator was mostly focused on legislation, not power brokering and so most of these people felt betrayed.
    but trust me, this is a very small group that just makes a lot of noise.
    the noise i would rather focus on would be the voice of the 13 million people who voted my father into office during the last 2 elections and who, i hope and pray, will do so again this coming elections.
    i can honestly say, with conviction, that my father is a good man who only has the best intentions for the Philippines.
    he always says that he’s ready to die for his country.
    and though the thought of losing him scares me, i believe him.

  8. mindanaw says :

    any updates on Senator Honasan’s appeal for temporary release to campaign? What are the chances?
    -Istambay sa Mindanao

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