Sunday, April 10, 2016

Duterte-Cayetano political rally in Bohol ‘phenomenal’

Phenomenal.

That’s how the local chapter of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) described the political rally of presidentiable candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running-mate Sen. Alan Cayetano, in Bohol province last Sunday, April 3.

Duterte and Cayetano were warmly welcomed by Boholanos as if they were Bohol’s favorite sons.

Supporters called the visit “redemption,” “Duterte festival,” and “Duterte phenomenon.”

In Ubay town, where Duterte and Cayetano arrived at past 3 p.m. on Sunday, a crowd of 10,000 greeted them at the town’s gymnasium.

A sea of people at the Duterte-Cayetano rally in Tagbilaran City, in Bohol province, last Sunday (April 3).  Presidentiable candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has drawn remarkable seas of humanity to many of his high-energy rallies in Ubay, Tagbilaran and Panglao towns. Leo Udtohan/Chronicle

Ubay, about 113 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran, has a voting population of 40, 803 and is the largest in Bohol’s second district.

At past 6 p.m., the tandem arrived at Tagbilaran City, about 113 km from Ubay, where their supporters waited for them.

Residents lined up the streets chanting “Duterte, Duterte,” as the mayor peeped through his car window waving and greeting the people.

The tandem paid a courtesy call to Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran. They also met priests and seminarians at the Priests Home in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) compound.  Duterte also visited lawyer Victor dela Serna, his mentor at San Beda College.

Roads around the Tagbilaran City Square were closed to traffic starting 2 p.m. An estimated crowd of 30,000 were already at the venue at around 3 p.m.  

Traffic flow was moderate and manageable, according to the Tagbilaran City Police Station. At least 20 policemen secured the premises, along with SWAT members.

At 6 p.m., the crowd swelled to 60,000, an event really unexpected since Bohol is touted as bailiwick of the Liberal Party (LP).

During the rally, actor Cesar Montano sang his own composition to show support for Duterte. The supporters were singing along with him for the last few lines.

Cayetano told the crowd that the Department of Tourism will be transferred to Cebu and a department of Fisheries will be created in Visayas. He also rallied to create more and better jobs and raise incomes to enjoy the benefits of a growing country.
 
In his speech, Duterte reiterated his vow to stop crime, illegal drugs and corruption in government within six months of his administration.

He cited illegal drugs as the root of all evil and warned druglords and their runners to watch out.

“Pagbantay mo kay pusilon mo nako (Be careful, I might shoot you),” Duterte said.  The crowd cheered.

Illegal drugs continue to hound the province despite numerous operations and significant accomplishments from law enforcement agencies.

He also pushed for federalism, not only to end the decades-long secession in Mindanao but to bring progress across the Philippines.

“What Duterte did, he just shook Bohol,” said Lito Alagadmo, 38. He said he attended the rally to support Duterte.

"He's a breeze of hope totally different from traditional politicians. He is focusing on solving the problems of our country that I think many Filipinos want to hear," said Hazel Panlita, 35, who attended the rally with her friends.

"I've been to several political rallies through the years and never I have seen enthusiasm as displayed here tonight," added Panlita.

Not everyone was a Duterte fan.

Lilia Yorong, 46, from barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City attended the rally.

“I’m not a Duterte fan. I support Liberal Party but I eventually like to hear more specifics on how Duterte would achieve his goals,” she said.

Often drawing laughs, loud applause and sustained cheers from the crowd, Duterte hasn't shied away from attacking his rivals, and he kept the heat on Sunday, criticizing Roxas, Poe and Binay, saying they had no specific plans of action on how to solve criminality, poverty and illegal drugs.

“I can talk about stopping corruption, I can talk about suppressing criminality. I can even kill the drug lords,” the tough-talking mayor said.

Duterte also proclaimed the official PDP-Laban provincial bets (Senior board member Dionisio Balite for vice governor, Donald Sevilla for board member of the first district of Bohol, et al) and local bets­ (Arlene Karaan and her slate in Tagbilaran City, et al).

The rally in Tagbilaran ended at 9:30 p.m. but Duterte and Cayetano proceeded to nearby Panglao town for another rally where at least 20,000 people were waiting for them.

Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan, PDP-Laban Deputy Secretary General for Visayas and PDP-Laban provincial chair, expressed confidence that Duterte and Cayetano will gather victory in the province in the May 9 presidential elections.

“We will promise 65 t0 70 per cent Boholano votes for Duterte and Cayetano,”  said Dumaluan, who is also running for mayor in Panglao town.

Bohol, touted to be a bailiwick of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), has a total number of 798, 768 registered voters.

"The enthusiasm is spreading like wildfire. People are supporting Duterte of their own volition because they believed he is the catalyst for real change,” he said.

He said the people find Duterte’s platform relevant.

“People are tired of our corrupt system. Besides the corrupt system, we see problems on poverty, drugs and criminality. And we don’t like anymore that our lives are being controlled by the Imperial Manila. If Poe, Roxas and Binay will win, it’s still the same. But Duterte is offering federalism, "he said.

"We want change. Duterte is a man of word. He will walk his talk. We saw him in Davao, we saw he is a principled man," he added.

He added another factor is that the Duterte’s grandmother from Saligumba clan was from Bohol.

Dumaluan said that PDP-Laban didn’t worry about Bohol as Liberal Party country with incumbent Gov. Edgar Chatto as the ruling party’s head.

Unperturbed, he said “No, the governor can’t control the people. It will be problem if they will be carried away by the people. The Boholanos know Duterte is a Boholano because his grandmother was from the Saligumba clan. The Boholanos would feel for fellow Boholano,” he said.


Dumaluan also urged his party mates all over the province to consolidate and solidify its forces behind Duterte and Cayetano.

He said there were candidates who obtained their certificates of nomination and acceptance (Cona) from PDP-Laban including Loay Mayor Rosemarie Lim-Imboy who is running for Bohol governor against Chatto and former Carmen Mayor Conchita Toribio-delos Reyes who is running for representative in third district of Bohol against Rep. Art Yap, dumped Duterte in favor of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice-President Jejomar Binay.

At least 20,000 supporters, wearing blue and red shirts with Duterte’s face and name on it, have gathered at the Panglao gymnasium as early as 4 p.m.


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