DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur – BEFORE an estimated 120,000 supporters who attended UniTeam’s grand rally here, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday night vowed to carry her coalition standard-bearer former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to victory in Mindanao in the May 9 elections.
“Ang mga Ilocano at mga Tagalog, nangako na mananalo ang Bisaya (Duterte) sa kanilang lugar,” Duterte, who chairs Lakas-CMD, told the mammoth crowd that warmly welcomed and listened to UniTeam candidates led by Marcos of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
“Tayong mga Bisaya, mangangako na mananalo ang Ilocano dito sa ating lugar,” she continued, alluding to Marcos, who is from Ilocos Norte.
Duterte’s remarks elicited a thunderous applause from the huge assembly organized by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political group she heads.
Citing crowd estimate from police, HNP rally organizers said more or less 120,000 UniTeam supporters had attended the grand rally inside and outside the venue in Brgy. Tres De Mayo here.
HNP is led by Duterte as chairperson, Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista as president, and former Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony del Rosario as secretary-general.
Large crowds warmly welcomed and listened to the UniTeam candidates Wednesday not only in Davao del Sur but also in Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro.
According to HNP, a huge crowd of at least 25,000 supporters greeted UniTeam’s grand rally in Carmen, Davao del Norte while an estimated 35,000 people attended the grand rally in Pantukan, Davao de Oro.
Aside from multitudes of supporters, scores of local officials attended the UniTeam grand rallies.
Duterte expressed her sincere gratitude to the crowd and local officials.
“Maraming salamat po Davao del Sur. Maraming salamat sa inyong tiwala at suporta sa amin ni Apo BBM at sa buong UniTeam. Salamat sa team nina Gov. Claude Bautista at Davao del Sur gubernatorial candidate Gov. Jason Rama Bautista sa suporta niyo. Mahalin natin ang Pilipinas,” Duterte said.
Jason Bautista introduced Marcos to his constituents as the country’s next president.
He cited BBM’s achievements as a former senator and governor of Ilocos Norte.
Jason Bautista said Marcos authored or co-authored 426 bills as a lawmaker.
“Ito ang isang pundasyon (Marcos’ programs of government) ng isang Republika na may malusog na manggagawa at masiglang ekonomiya. Mga kapatid ang ating susunod na Pangulo ng Pilipinas, walang iba kundi si Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos,” Jason Bautista said.
Under BBM’s stewardship, Ilocos Norte became a first-class province and sufficient in energy through wind power projects, Bautista said.
The Davao region is considered a bailiwick of the Dutertes.
The campaign sortie in the Davao provinces followed similar massive rallies on Monday in central Mindanao, where at least 100,000 supporters attended a grand rally in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
There were also messages delivered by UniTeam senatorial candidates Herbert Bautista, Harry Roque, Gibo Teodoro, Jinggoy Estrada, Larry Gadon, Loren Legarda, Rodante Marcoleta, Win Gatchalian, Mark Villar, and Gringo Honasan and performances by Filipino rap legend Andrew E, actress Bianca Manalo, comedian-host Eric Nicolas and bands Aegis, Plethora and The Duke.
In an ambush interview in Carmen rally, Duterte called on her allies “to do more” to ensure a huge victory of UniTeam candidates led by Marcos.
“We will try our best to deliver for Bongbong Marcos in Davao region and based on our survey, he is doing well and we can do more for him,” Duterte said.
“Based on surveys that we have, both private and public, he (Marcos) is about 70 to 80 percent already dito sa Mindanao,” Duterte said of Marcos when asked about the latter’s chances of winning in Mindanao in the May 2022 polls.
In a separate ambush interview, Marcos expressed strong belief that they have been sending loud and clear UniTeam’s message to the people. “The crowd understands the message very well, that is the most important part.”
Marcos and Duterte enjoy high voter preference in Mindanao.
In Pulse Asia’s February survey, BBM was picked by 68 percent among respondents in the region, while Mayor Sara was preferred by 82 percent.