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Casiño, Hagedorn, Villanueva kick off senatorial campaigns

Senatorial candidates Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, and Rep. Teddy Casiño kicked off their campaigns in Metro Manila on Tuesday, the official start of the campaign period for national positions. Clad in green, Bangon Pilipinas Party senatorial candidate Villanueva began his campaign with a proclamation rally in Malolos, Bulacan, according to Mark Salazar's report on Balitanghali. Villanueva was joined on stage by local candidates in Bulacan from different parties and his son, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva, who wore a yellow shirt, the color of the Liberal Party. The younger Villanueva said he first asked permission from President Benigno Aquino III to attend his father's proclamation rally. Likewise, Bro. Eddie said he does not consider himself as an opposition candidate as he supports the President's "Daang Matuwid" campaign. According to the report, Villanueva said he wanted to follow fellow Bulakeño Blas Ople to the Senate, and is campaigning on a pro-inclusive growth, small businesses and education platform. The report also said there will be an online rally from 7 pm to 10 pm Tuesday night in which Villanueva will be taking questions from netizens. Meanwhile, independent candidate Hagedorn kicked off his campaign with a press conference at his headquarters in Manila, according to Chino Gaston's report on News To Go. According to the report, Hagedorn, also clad in green, was joined by a few Miss Earth candidates as his platform includes protecting the environment. Hagedorn said he would also like to pursue the implementation of term extensions for elected officials up to three to four years, it said. After the press conference, Hagedorn is set to travel by motorcade to the Sto. Niño Parish Church in Tondo, Manila, to accept blessings from the priests. The lone senatorial candidate of the Makabayan Coalition, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Casiño, began his campaign with a fun run, according to Lei Alviz' report on Balitanghali. According to the report, the run started on the corner of Taft Avenue and Buendia and ended at the Senate in Pasay City, his finish line. Casiño was joined by members of militant groups like Anakpawis, Katribu, Bayan Muna, Piston, Kabataan, and Gabriela. His supporters from other parts of the country also held their own fun run in support of the lawmaker, it added. Casiño said he does not feel threatened by the giant political machineries he is running against, as he believes that "walang lalakas pa sa makinarya ng taumbayan." According to the report, Casiño is campaigning on the issues of land reform, permanent jobs and higher pay, and lower cost of living. Under Commission on Election (Comelec) Resolution No. 9385, the campaign period for senatorial and party-list candidates starts Tuesday and will end two days before the May 13 election day. — Amanda Fernandez/BM, GMA News