By Maricel Cruz | Manila Standard
UniTeam standard-bearer former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) drew mammoth crowds in their rallies in Mindanao on Monday.
Organizers said that the massive assembly in front of the provincial capitol here was attended by an estimated 100,000 in its early stage even before the UniTeam candidates addressed their supporters.
It was organized by Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu, while the jampacked Maguindanao rally in Buluan town was led by his wife, Gov. Bai Mariam Mangudadatu.
Marcos and Duterte thanked the Mangudadatu couple for the warm welcome they received and for organizing the rallies following a similar assembly in North Cotabato.
UniTeam officers said the Central Mindanao crowds were among the biggest they have seen in the course of the BBM-Sara campaign down South.
Another recent UniTeam rally with a mammoth crowd was in General Trias City in Cavite were more than 100,000 supporters showed up for the event.
Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu introduced BBM as the next president of the Republic of the Philippines.
Marcos greeted the huge crowd while Duterte thanked the immense assembly as well.
The rallies were held at the provincial capital grounds in Buluan, Maguindanao, and in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
Earlier Monday, the UniTeam candidates attended a rally in Carmen, North Cotabato organized by Vice Gov. Lala Taliño-Mendoza who is eyeing a comeback as the province’s governor in the coming poll, and her husband, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) party-list Rep. Democrito Mendoza.
Duterte’s husband, lawyer Manases “Mans” Carpio, joined her for the first time in her campaign in Carmen town. They brought with them their two children, Mateo Lucas or Stingray and Marko Digong or Stone Fish.
Based on Commission on Elections (Comelec) data, Maguindanao has 818,790 registered voters, while Sultan Kudarat has 497,690.
There are 975,541 voters listed in South Cotabato and 771,206 in North Cotabato.
Marcos told the UniTeam supporters that they still have a lot of work to do and vowed to uplift the lives of poor Filipinos after he is elected in the scheduled May 9 elections.
Overall, the UniTeam’s sorties in different provinces were hugely successful despite the inclement weather.
Marcos Jr. made courtesy calls to different local leaders and officials like Mayor Ronnel Rivera of General Santos, Gov. Nancy Catamco of North Cotabato, Gov. Bai Marriam Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, and Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat where he presided in the inauguration of their Lambayong City Hall. Marcos also received messages of support and endorsements from various sectors.
More than 300 doctors who called themselves UniTeaMD also expressed support for UniTeam.