Leni-Kiko grand rally organizers challenged to beat UniTeam crowd

·3 min read

ORGANIZERS of the Ceboom: Cebu Grand People’s Rally 2.0 for presidential candidate Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and vice presidential candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan admit it will be a challenge to gather more people for the rally on Thursday, April 21, 2022, to top the numbers gathered by their rivals days earlier.

In a statement, lawyer Francisco Amit Jr., spokesperson of the Leni-Ace-Junjun Movement, said they hoped to gather a sizable crowd that would fill the eight-hectare rally site at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.

Amit acknowledged that the crowd that filled the four-hectare rally site of the UniTeam Festival last Monday was sizable. Close to 300,000 people are estimated to have attended the rally organized by supporters of presidential candidate and dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

“It is a challenge for us to beat it,” Amit said.

Before the rally, their group will lead a mini rally in Danao City while Robredo visits Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III and gubernatorial candidate and former tourism secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano at City Hall, Amit said.

After the visit, the group will conduct a caravan towards the grand rally site in Mandaue City.

Delegations from communities will join the caravan along the way, Amit added.

Police presence

An official of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) said around 250 police personnel, including augmentation personnel, will be deployed to secure the rally.

Lt. Col. Franco Rudolf Oriol, head of the MCPO’s Intelligence Branch and its current spokesperson, said they expect around 250,000 people to attend the rally.

Aside from MCPO personnel, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas will also deploy 85 police officers to assist them, Oriol said.

Civilian force multipliers assigned in Barangays Centro and Subangadaku will also be there to help police secure those attending the rally.

Oriol said they are discouraging attendees from bringing big backpacks, deadly weapons and alcoholic drinks to the event.

Oriol also discouraged participants from bringing children to the rally. He said they are still trying to convince the organizers to allow only those of legal age to attend the rally.

Aside from Robredo and Pangilinan, the tandem’s senatorial candidates and some local and national artists and celebrities will be at the rally.

Outstanding support

Meanwhile, members of the Outstanding Students of Central Visayas or TOSPians of Central Visayas have issued a statement of support for Robredo and Pangilinan for president and vice president.

The group is composed of student leaders and professionals who were recognized as part of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) which is awarded yearly.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, April 20, the group said they supported Robredo not just for her accountability and trustworthiness, but also because her “vocal vehement contentions against the controversial policies of the current administration prove her genuine love and concern for the last, the least, and the littlest.”

The group also supported Pangilinan as the “appropriate partner” for Robredo due to his work in the Senate in alleviating the conditions of the poor, especially those in the agricultural sector.

“Both Leni and Kiko did not come from political dynasties. They do not have the strongest political machineries. But their well-documented accomplishments; academic, moral and political qualifications; and their resolute desire to uplift the lives of the Filipino people are the parameters we have considered in choosing them as the leaders our country desperately needs. (HIC, JKV, PR)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting