By Joseph Pedrajas | Manila Bulletin
The world’s largest indoor arena—Philippine Arena—in Bocaue, Bulacan was painted red and green as supporters of presidential candidate former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio rallied for them Tuesday for their campaign kick off.
About 25,000 individuals clad in red and green joined the tandem’s proclamation rally—virtually filling up half of the arena’s 55,000-seating capacity.
Red is Marcos Jr.’s political color while green is Duterte-Carpio’s.
The duo showed up at around 5 p.m.—an hour after their event started—following the performance of several guests, including actress-singer Karla Estrada.
The proclamation rally started by 4 p.m. at an arena owned by bloc-voting Iglesia ni Cristo. But that does not equate to the church’s endorsement for their candidacies, said Marcos Jr.’s spokesman, Vic Rodriguez.
Ten members of Marcos-Duterte’s 11-man senatorial line-up were present during the kick-off. They were former Defense chief Gibo Teodoro, Sen. Migz Zubiri, Sen. Win Gatchalian, former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, suspended lawyer Larry Gadon, former Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar, former Palace spokesman Harry Roque and SAGIP Rep. Rodante Marcoleta.
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda delivered her speech through a taped message, while former Information Technology secretary Gringo Honasan was represented by his wife, Jane.
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos were also present to express their support to the duo.
The proclamation rally lit up as Roque danced to the beat of his campaign theme song.
Supporters waved their phones with flashlights on as Marcos-Duterte’s campaign theme song also played.
Marcos Jr.’s speech was met with a standing ovation of the crowd. People chanted, “Marcos Pa Rin!” or “BBM!”
His message focused on his aspiration: unity.
Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio called on her supporters to “stand tall” and “fly, soar, fight and win” like an eagle—a bird she is being likened to.
She also told the crowd “to protect” Marcos Jr because he has the “kind of experience we need not only to sustain the growth and development spurred by the current admin, but also to bring a more prosperous future.”