By Mico Abarro | ABS-CBN News
MANILA - The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has apologized for the traffic caused by his "UniTeam Caravan" with running mate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday.
In a statement, Marcos' spokesman Victor Rodriguz said the traffic happened despite their team's preparations for the event.
"Hindi po kasi inaasahan ng mga naghanda sa nasabing okasyon na ma-overwhelm pa rin ang kanilang masinop at malawak na preparasyon sa dagsa ng mga taga-suporta nina Bongbong at Sara na sabik na makiisa at makita ang kanilang mga kandidato sa pagka-presidente at bise presidente," said Rodriguez.
(The organizers did not expect this despite our preparations. There were many supporters who were eager to see their candidates for president and vice president.)
The eastbound lanes of Congressional and Quezon Avenues saw heavy traffic Wednesday morning due to the number of supporters that came to join the caravan. Though it began moving past 8 a.m., it took until after 1 p.m. for the caravan to end at Welcome Rotonda.
Quezon City authorities said the event's organizers did not coordinate properly with the local government. It also called on them to ensure the safety of caravan participants.
"We are reviewing and assessing the situation right now. Although their group sent a formal withdrawal, we still made sure to deploy law enforcement, traffic, and medical personnel to provide ready assistance," said Quezon City legal department chief, Nino Casimiro.
"Being National Roads, we do not want to preempt and thus defer to the jurisdiction of the MMDA on the matter at this time."
Anakalusugan party-list representative and Quezon City mayoral candidate Mike Defensor and his running mate Winnie Castelo organized the caravan in support of the BBM-Sara tandem.
Defensor said he and his supporters planned to hold a gathering for Marcos and Duterte-Carpio at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. But the city government allegedly gave them the runaround, which Defensor called an effective rejection of their application.
Belmonte denied rejecting Defensor's application and said his camp withdrew the request. She added that the Quezon City Memorial Circle was a child-safe zone, and many children were still unvaccinated against COVID-19.