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Solid North flexes muscle

February 17, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 296 views

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte — There is such a thing called “Solid North” and the people here showed it on late Wednesday evening.

Thousands of people lined up the streets, sometimes even congesting traffic, as UniTeam’s presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) went around the province’s towns before holding a rally here.

“Alam namin na kayang-kaya ni Mayor Sara na ayusin at iahon ang Pilipinas,” Nellie Ciriaco, a resident of Barangay Quibel in Dumalneg town, said.

Before reaching Paoay, the UniTeam made stopovers in the towns of Pagudpud, Bangui, Burgos, Pasuquin, Bacarra Centro, and Laoag.

It was Duterte’s 16th day of the Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride (MNPR).

Marcos and Duterte were on a caravan float as they greeted thousands of supporters lining up on the roadside in spite of scorching heat. They were joined by Bongbong’s son, Sandro, who is running for the province’s first district representative.

The caravan lasted for almost seven hours before arriving in Paoay Wednesday night.

On the streets, people chanted “BBM, Sara.” There was even an instance when Duterte, using a microphone, had to shout “Mabuhay ang Mindanao” to show her appreciation to a group of Muslims who were gathered along the street.

“Nasa puso namin silang dalawa. Kung ano’ng suporta namin kay Bongbong, ganun din kay Sara,” said Petronilo Tahon, 60, was among the thousands of people who endured long hours of waiting for the tandem at the wide Paoay Sand Dunes.

Tahon said whoever the tandem endorses for senators, the Ilocanos will give their full support as they are pushing for “Solid North.”

Another supporter who stayed until the end of the rally at midnight was Casey Domingo.

Domingo, 26, who is from Batac town, said the tandem strengthens the unity among Ilocanos.

“She is fierce. May laman yung mga sinasabi. BBM-Sara is a strong tandem. Sila yung kailangan ng bansa,” Domingo said.

Senatorial re-electionists Win Gatchalian and Migz Zubiri, candidates Loren Legarda, Harry Roque, Jinggoy Estrada, Herbert Bautista, Mark Villar, Gibo Teodoro, Larry Gadon, and Robin Padilla were also at the rally.

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