By Anjo Bagaoisan | ABS-CBN News
Protesters show ‘Never again’ streamer amid convoy
Partido Federal ng Pilipinas presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. kicked off his campaign in Caloocan City with a morning motorcade through southern Caloocan that had to be cut short after extending beyond schedule.
Many streets and major thoroughfares that the Marcos convoy passed through, including EDSA and Monumento, were filled with supporters wearing red, green, or orange.
The caravan, which began at 9 a.m., slowed down at residential areas, such as a market road in Bagong Barrio.
Among those present at the morning convoy were Uniteam senatorial bets Herbert Bautista, the former mayor of Quezon City, and Gilbert Teodoro, former defense secretary and presidential candidate.
Despite the prohibition against handshakes and physical contact by the Philippine Commission on Elections, many supporters approached Marcos Jr.’s vehicle hoping to touch him or shake his hand.
Marcos, who was wearing arm sleeves, tried to reach out with his arms, elbows, or fist but sometimes had to pull away.
Some locals we talked to said they have already decided to pick Marcos Jr. in the ballot, hoping he would bring about progress, unity, and better livelihood for them and other Filipinos.
With 700,000 voters registered for the 2022 elections, Caloocan is the 5th most vote-rich city in the Philippines, and the 3rd in Metro Manila next to Quezon City and Manila.
Marcos Jr. enjoys the support of the incumbent mayor Oscar Malapitan, who is now seeking to take the 1st congressional district seat of his son Dale, who meanwhile is running for mayor.
However, the caravan was not without its detractors.
As the Marcos convoy passed the San Roque Cathedral, a group of activists held out placards and streamers in protest.
The placards admonished in Filipino: “Do not vote for a thief and a liar”, in reference to the billions of public funds stolen under the regime of Marcos Jr’s father, and the questions on Marcos Jr.’s academic background.
The biggest streamer read: “Never again” to dictatorship.
This, however, did not seem catch the attention of Marcos Jr., who simply held out his campaign v-sign when he passed, followed by supporters jeering at the activists.
Marco Jr.’s media team said the convoy had to forego the 7 last streets from the morning convoy for lack of time and arrived at the New Caloocan City Hall past 1 p.m.—an hour beyond the original schedule.
The Uniteam’s 2nd convoy, which traversed the larger area of north Caloocan, was slated to start at 2 p.m. but rolled out at 4 p.m.
Marcos Jr.’s running mate and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio joined him this time.
Duterte-Carpio spent the morning in vote-rich Pangasinan province where she inaugurated a local campaign headquarters and meet with opposing candidates for provincial governor, who both gave their endorsement behind the Marcos-Duterte tandem.
They’re expected to give speeches at the campaign rally following other senatorial bets.