Manila Bulletin : With its million-strong votes, Isabela leans heavily toward BBM-Sara

15 February 2022

By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

Vote-rich Isabela province is BBM-Sara UniTeam territory as far as local officials led by Governor Rodito Albano are concerned.

Albano on Tuesday, Feb. 15 gave a warm welcome to Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio during the latter’s visit to the province via her “Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride” (MNPR).

Duterte-Carpio is one half of the frontrunning UniTeam, the other being Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer and former senator Bongbong Marcos.

“I thank the good mayor from Davao for her gesture of traveling all the way from the south up just to visit our humble province. This admirable act is neither lost on me, nor the voters from Isabela,” Albano said.

“Honestly, nobody would blame Mayor Inday Sara if she choose not to come here; she could have relied solely on the popularity up north of former senator Bongbong Marcos and still could have enjoyed a comfortable victory. But she is here with us today and we are delighted,” he added.

Also on hand to greet the presidential daughter upon her arrival was Vice Governor Bodjie Dy. Albano and Dy are both Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) stalwarts.

“Mayor Inday Sara may have been born in the south, but Isabela is very much her territory, too. Isabela is BBM-Sara territory,” Dy said.

The province–the most populous in Cagayan Valley- has an estimated one million registered voters.

But why is Isabela so sold on “Inday Sara?” Apparently, it’s all about the Duterte name. According to the governor, President Duterte has prioritized Isabela when it comes to development projects.

“So it’s no wonder why local folk easily warmed up to his daughter. It is during the current administration that the 1.7-kilometer Cabagan Bypass Road and 450-meter Pigalo Bridge were constructed under Build, Build, Build led by Mark Villar,” Albano said.

Also part of President Duterte’s “legacies” in the province are the construction of a two-storey building for the local Philippine National Police (PNP) and the upgrade of the domestic airport.

As for the Marcosses, Isabela has always been a solid supporter.

“Kasama kami sa solid north, madami ang Ilocano sa amin (We’re part of solid north, there are a lot of Ilocanos among us), like my roots po na Allbano ay galing Ilocos Norte (It is from Ilocos Norte). This is BBM-Sara country,” declared Isabela 1st district Rep. Tonypet Albano, Region II chairman of Lakas-CMD.

Referring to Duterte-Carpio’s MNPR, Rep. Albano said, “Alam ko po na lahat ng taga-Isabela po ay pupunta po sa kalye kung saan siya dadaan para maipakita po ang buong suporta ng lalawigan (I know that all Isabela folk will go out in the streets to show the province’s support when she passes by).”