TACLOBAN City, Leyte — Inclement weather failed to stop the people here in supporting the UniTeam tandem of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Some 210,000 Leyteños and Taclobanons joined the campaign rally held at the Leyte Grandstand and nearby streets.
The event was hosted by Lakas-CMD president House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and his wife Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez.
Marcos and some senatorial candidates were present during the grand rally as the local residents braved the rains and endured long hours of waiting.
UniTeam senatorial candidates Harry Roque, Win Gatchalian, Herbert Bautista, Mark Villar, Migz Zubiri, Jinggoy Estrada, and Robin Padilla joined the huge rally, which successfully capped off UniTeam Samar-Leyte swing that started last Friday.
Mayor Sara was not able to join the Leyte Grandstand rally, although she wasn’t at all far from the hearts and minds of the attendees who repeatedly chanted her name during the event.
The BBM-Sara tandem earlier agreed to split up so they could revisit more areas and reach out to remote communities ahead of the May 9 polls.
Local leaders here, led by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, expressed full support to the UniTeam and already claimed victory for the May 9 elections.
Being in Tacloban City, the Yolanda tragedy and the Taclobanons’ display of resilience was alluded all throughout the program.
In memory of the thousands who lost their lives from the natural disaster, singers Dulce, Renz Verano and Beverly Salviejo made a solemn rendition of the song “Bayan Kong Magiliaw.”
But the celebratory atmosphere was instantly revived when it was Marcos’ turn to speak to the mammoth crowd.
He was introduced on stage by Majority Leader House Martin Romualdez.
An impressive fireworks display that lasted for 35 minutes amid a steady drizzle followed the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer’ s speech.
Marcos and vice presidential bet Mayor Sara have been continuously campaigning despite having more-than-majority voter support of 56 percent as reflected in Pulse Asia’s tracking survey for March released last Wednesday.
Before the rally here, mammoth crowds also attended the UniTeam rallies in Maasin City, Baybay City, and Ormoc City on Saturday.
The UniTeam members also met with local officials led by Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico “Mic” Petilla and Tacloban City Mayor Romualdez.
Majority Leader Romualdez, who represents the first district of Leyte, expressed elation over the throngs of Leyteños who welcomed BBM.
“In a sense, I was not surprised because Bongbong is related to us Leyteños by blood and family origin,” Romualdez said.
“Mayor Inday Sara is also close to us because his father, President Duterte, traces his roots to Southern Leyte, where he was born in the town of Maasin,” Romualdez added.
Tingog Party-list Representative Yedda Romualdez said the UniTeam candidates led by Marcos and Duterte can expect an all-out support from the province.
“The BBM-Sara UniTeam has been assured of solid support by the two provinces’ (Samar and Leyte) officials. Let us vote straight for BBM-Sara UniTeam,” she said.