Daily Tribune : BBM barnstorms Isko’s bailiwick

21 February 2022

By Michelle R. Guillang | Daily Tribune

Running mates Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Sunday held separate campaign activities in Manila City and Zambales, respectively.

Bongbong barnstormed the streets of Tondo, holding a caravan with his party Partido Federal’s mayoral candidate Alex Lopez. They did not organize a program but only held a caravan that started in Parola Tondo Compound and ended along Jabaneros Street.

While Manila is the bailiwick of Mayor Isko Moreno, his fellow presidential contender, Bongbong, received a warm welcome from the Tondo residents. Some of them even flaunted portraits of BBM’s late father to express support.

Tondo is one of the highly populated areas in Manila, with the second-highest number of registered voters in the country numbering 1.1 million.

With outstretched arms, Bongbong greeted his supporters. He wore arm sleeves to conceal and protect the scratches he got from supporters from previous campaign rallies.

His lawyer Vic Rodriguez said that Bongbong got injured during a motorcade in Caloocan City on Saturday. He made the statement after a video of Marcos seeming to avoid handshakes from supporters went viral online.

Rodriguez said Bongbong was merely protecting his hand that sustained a wound near the wrist, which now appears “to have been infected.” He did not elaborate.

He appealed to supporters to avoid squeezing the hands and arms of the presidential frontrunner to allow the wound to heal.

While BBM was working the crowd in Tondo, his running mate Sara, of Lakas-CMD and Hugpong ng Pagbabago party, was in several Zambales towns. Their respective cars bore both their pictures.

Still, some BBM supporters expressed disappointment that Sara was not present in the motorcade in the densely populated district of Manila.

Why they weren’t together? The two had no rift. But the separate gig was not a campaign strategy, either.

A Lakas official said the two had different schedules because Bongbong went behind his as some of his staff members contracted Covid-19. Their schedules would meet again soon in the future, the official added.

But it was not the first time Sara had gone solo in campaigning. Sara was on her own in Pangasinan and La Union last week. Bongbong was still then in the Ilocos region.

In Zambales, the President’s daughter was welcomed by local officials led by Governor Hermogenes “Jun” Ebdane Jr., a stalwart of the Sulong Zambales political party, in Iba town.

In an interview with reporters, Ebdane said that his constituents “unanimously” support the BBM-Sara tandem.

“We’re not telling them to vote for just anyone,” Ebdane said. “When we asked them, who will be their candidates and then, it’s obvious… Maybe I would say at this time if elections would be held this time, no doubt. It’s a runaway victory (for both Bongbong and Sara here).”

Sara’s Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride rolled over to Zambales, paving the way for the vice-presidential bet to pay a courtesy call to Ebdane, Vice Governor Jay Khonghun and other local officials at the Provincial Legislative Building in Iba, Zambales.

She also met with senior citizens at Khonghun Compound, Barangay Aningway, Sacatihan, Subic. She was accompanied by senatorial candidates Robin Padilla and Harry Roque.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr. hosted Sara at the City Hall and joined her in the inauguration of a local headquarters.

“We are very excited to welcome Mayor Sara Duterte, our vice president. We are very happy. We have seen her work as a public servant,” Paulino said.

Last Saturday, Bongbong and Sara campaigned together in Caloocan City. Their motorcade lasted for about 12 hours. They were endorsed by Caloocan City Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan.

Malapitan said that the tandem’s day-long motorcade in the city is “one of the biggest” in Caloocan’s political history.

“I have been in government service for 30 years,” Malapitan told the crowd during the sortie. “But this is the first time that I have witnessed a political gathering as huge as this. This is a demonstration of our love to the Bongbong-Sara tandem and their senatoriables bets.”

Caloocan has around 700,000 registered voters.

WITH CHERK BALAGTAS