By Franck Dick Rosete | Manila Bulletin
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – It’s now official.
Presidential candidate former Senator ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and the rest of the UniTeam will hold their campaign sortie in this city on Tuesday, April 26.
The Team BBM-Sara UniTeam Regional Headquarters here confirmed the said schedule on Sunday, April 24 through their facebook page.
The venue of the grand rally is the spacious Don Gregorio Pelaéz Sports Complex, the oldest park in Northern Mindanao, and also the largest in Mindanao since 1998 after its renovation. It was built in 1969.
The past few days, there were confusions among the BBM supporters and CDO folks regarding the actual date of the rally.
However, a social media content creator Berns J already confirmed the schedule through his video on facebook, as he will also be one of the hosts for the first part of the event.
“I just received the call and it’s final and it’s irrevocable, this is final on April 26 at Sports Center. We, supporters of BBM and Sara, let’s meet there,” Berns J said on his video.
Cagayan de Oro, considered as the regional center and business hub of Northern Mindanao, has about 366,426 registered voters
After that announcement, many Kagay-anon supporters expressed their excitement, followed by the announcement of the Team BBM-Sara UniTeam Regional Headquarters – the most reliable source when it comes to UniTeam events.
In an interview, Dave Cyruz Tilap of Mambatangan village, Manolo Fortich, Bukdinon, a solid BBM-Sara supporter, expressed his excitement as he said personally wanted to hear the platforms of the Uniteam.
“Very thrilled and happy. For a very long time, now, finally, the UniTeam will visit the city of Cagayan de Oro. Aside from that, I also want to hear personally their platforms apart from the posts in social media,” Tilap said.
It can be recalled that many supporters here were expecting a rally in the first week of April after the UniTeam went to Malaybalay City in Bukidnon on March 31 for their grand rally.
In a phone interview on Sunday, Lt. Col. Ariel Philip Pontillas, the deputy director for operations of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO), said the city police will be on full alert for the upcoming rally as they will be expecting thousands of BBM-Sara supporters.
Initially, the COCPO will deploy at least 100 police personnel starting Tuesday morning to provide security in the area, as well as for the politicians who will visit the city.
Pontillas said they will conduct a final meeting on Monday, April 25, to finalize the preparation as they also need to communicate with the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) for the implementation of the traffic scheme.
“Tomorrow (Monday, April 25) will be the final meeting with the RTA with regards to the traffic scheme for the upcoming rally. Accordingly, they will close [Don Apolinar] Velez street,” Pontillas said.
Pontillas urged the supporters to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards in order to maintain the protection against the coronavirus disease 2019.
He also asked the full cooperation of the public to immediately report to the police if they notice something in the surrounding area that would affect the peace and security of the event.
“Please help us in monitoring also because there might be some individuals who would take advantage of the situation. However, that is part of our security planning to avoid this kind of incident,” Pontillas expressed.