Cebu rally ‘biggest’ for UniTeam so far

·5 min read

THE UniTeam Festival Rally in Cebu was the biggest among the rallies that presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, had so far attended.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) estimated that about 300,000 supporters flocked to the City di Mare, Filinvest Grounds at the South Road Properties (SRP) to attend the first grand rally of the tandem in Cebu last Monday, April 18, 2022.

In her speech, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said Cebu had spoken and so the rest of the country follows.

“Og kon motingog ang Sugbo, maningog ang Pilipinas, mosunod kanato. Daug na ang UniTeam (UniTeam has won),” she said.

Marcos said Cebu had shown what unity was all about, adding that this had been the biggest campaign rally so far.

“Sa nakikita ko dito sa Cebu ay hindi na kailangang ipaliwanag ang pagkakaisa dahil nagkaisa na ang Cebu sa likod ng UniTeam,” he said, adding that Cebu is an example of the power of unity’s message. (From what I see in Cebu, there’s no more need to explain what unity is because Cebu has united behind UniTeam.)

With this, he urged his supporters not to forget this rally in Cebu City, where they promised to continue the unity.

Jobs, education

Duterte-Carpio expressed her gratitude for everyone’s support as she promised that their tandem will prioritize the return of work and business opportunities amid the ill effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

She further said they will improve the quality of education of children for a bright future as well as strive for peace and order in the community should they win in the May 9 elections.

Duterte-Carpio promised leadership for the country that would not be tainted with political color.

“Dad-on namo ang tibuok nasud nga walay color sa politika. Dili pink, dili yellow, dili red, dili green. Isa lang tang tanan ang kolor nato, mga isog ug mga masipag nga Pilipino (We are all one color, brave and hardworking Filipinos),” said Duterte-Carpio, adding that their tandem plans to continue the reforms that her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, had started, particularly the infrastructure projects and fight against criminality.

Senatorial candidates at the grand rally included former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., reelectionists Sherwin Gatchalian and Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, and Larry Gadon.

Also present was former justice undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, wife of former public works secretary and senatorial candidate Mark Villar.

In his speech, Gatchalian noted that during their campaign rally in Cavite, about 120,000 individuals comprised the estimated crowd, while the estimate was 150,000 in Sultan Kudarat and 200,000 in Tacloban City.

Last April 12, Cebu’s administration party, One Cebu, and ruling parties in the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, formally endorsed Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

Apart from the mayors and candidates under the One Cebu party in the province, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan were also present.

Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Rep. Paz Radaza, who is running for mayor of the city, was also present as well as Cebu Sixth District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon, who is running unopposed as the first Mandaue City Lone District representative.

Crowd size

Police Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office, explained how they came up with the 300,000 crowd estimate.

Parilla said the three-hectare area had a capacity of 120,000 people, and drone videos showed it was packed. This does not include the large crowd in the open space used by the helipad which was the same size as the three-hectare venue and had mounted LED monitors.

Apart from this, they included in their estimate those who left early in the afternoon who could no longer stand the heat of the sun and the people standing on the side of the road.

“Our figure of 300,000 includes the people who from the beginning, from the morning until the evening, who left. So if you include that one, the people who actually went to the area will reach 300,000,” Parilla said.

Despite the thick crowd, there were no major incidents, except for many who fainted, most of them elderly, due to the heat, and four cases of people who lost their wallets and cell phones, Parilla added.

He said the event ended at midnight, and there were still two bands set to perform, but they asked them not to anymore so they could already clean up the area.

Trash

Following the rally, the Department of Public Services (DPS) collected six trucks’ worth of trash at the SRP.

John Jigo Dacua, head of the DPS of the Cebu City Government, said he mobilized 250 personnel to clean up the 2.9-hectare main venue, not yet including the adjacent space where people also gathered.

Dacua said they cleaned the site from 11 p.m. Monday, when there were still many people staying to watch the concert, to past 3 a.m. the next day.

Two garbage dump trucks and four garbage compactor trucks collected the trash, which was composed mostly of empty plastic bottles, other plastics and other types of garbage. (MKG, PAC, AYB)

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