MANILA, March 29, 2004
A 45-day caravan and relay walkathon dubbed Biyaheng Gloria kicked off last Thursday, initiated by a large umbrella organization of President Arroyo’s supporters.

The caravan started simultaneously in three areas — Batanes; Kalibo, Aklan; and Zamboanga City — and will converge in Manila to present three million signatures of support and agenda for reforms to Mrs. Arroyo.

At a news conference, the leaders of the Genuine Leadership, Outstanding Reform and Intelligent Action (Pro-Gloria) said they are proud to announce the launch of Biyaheng Gloria, the theme of which is "Caravan kay Gloria: Isang Taya sa Kinabukasan."

The affair will also highlight the fight against any efforts to conduct a smear campaign, massive cheating and terrorism during the election season.

Supporters urged the public to "Resist Encompassing Information Fraud and Black Propaganda Terrorism in the May Polls," or Resistensiya.

Biyaheng Gloria spokesperson Robert Bastillo said the caravan will stop over in at various points in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to meet with people, and seek and consolidate their agenda for reforms.

"All of these will be presented to the President on the culimation day of the caravan," he said.

Bastillo is certain that the event will be remembered in the history of Philippine politics because "overwhelming support poured in without even exerting a great deal of effort."

"We don’t mind if this rare affair does not have sufficient funds to finance our activities. We are banking on the genuine support of the people seeking a strong leadership in the next six years," he said.

Bastillo said many people have offered to help in their own small way through donations while the group searches for a Gloria look-alike in each juncture point, signature campaign and mobilization of people.

"At least six buses were lent to us by people with good hearts. More groups will come forward as the caravan tours the entire Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao," he expressed confidence.

Pro-Gloria is composed of Bigkis Pinoy, Lakas Pinoy, Kaibigan ni Gloria, Kalipi, Aguman, Kaisambayan, Kaibigan ng OCWs, Akbay-Pinoy, Pinoy Overseas Partylist, Team Gloria (Youth), National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, E-Gloria, Liga ng Magniniyog, Aggrupation and Alliance of Farmers and Fisherfolks, Kagabay ni Gloria (Women), United Filipino Organizations and Muslim Peace and Order Council.

The group’s leaders said they have given more weight to the dedication, intelligence and hard work of the President to serve 80 million Filipinos in her three years in office than to the popularity of other presidential aspirants.

"We decided to demonstrate our support across the country to substantiate that the President rated high in survey results," they said.

They said the public has the right to know the truth about a scheme to destroy the administration’s image, which is being implemented by certain people in order to win in the May elections.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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