ANGELES CITY, Philippines – Supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte flocked at the old Philippine National Railways station in Angeles City, Pampanga for a rally intended for the presidential bet on Saturday, May 7. But to their surprise ABE Kapampangan, a local political party, took the spotlight out of the Davao City mayor.
The rally was advertised on social media as intended to support presidential front runner Duterte. During the event, however, campaign materials for local bets in Angeles City filled the area. (READ: Angeles City mayor endorses Duterte)
The two life-sized standees of Duterte, and a poster half the size of the stage was outmatched by a tarpaulin spanning the other half of the stage, two LED screens, flyers, flags and giant tarpaulins of local candidates running under ABE Kapampangan.
This action was met with mixed criticism from the crowd.
Ivy Nucum, a Duterte supporter, said that she was shocked to see that there were more campaign paraphernalia for the local candidates. (READ: Complete list of Angeles City local candidates)
“Galing pa akong San Fernando and pumunta ako dito para kay Mayor Duterte, pero nagulat ako at mas malaki pa ang poster nila. Pero okay lang naman kasi support din nila si mayor,” she said.
(I came all the way from San Fernando and I went here for Mayor Duterte. I was shocked that their posters were larger. But this is okay since they support the mayor.)
Another supported who refused to be identified said that he doesn’t approve of what the local party did. He even said, “Parang ginagamit lang nila siya (Duterte). Pinapunta nila yung mga tao dito para lang ihatak mga boto nila mula sa mga boboto kay Duterte.”
(It’s like they’re using Duterte. They had the people go here only to grab votes from Duterte’s supporters.)
He further added that this may also be an effort to salvage votes for their candidates who were not endorsed by the Iglesia Ni Cristo, including Congressional candidate Yeng Guiao.
Duterte, Mindanao’s favorite presidential bet, called for national unity during his last campaign rally held at Rizal Park on Saturday night. Manila police put the size of the crowd at 300,000 at around 6 pm. Hosts of the event said the crowd had already reached 550,000 by the end of the rally.
Administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas held his Miting de Avance in the Quezon Memorial Circle while Senator Grace Poe held hers at the historic Plaza Miranda. (WATCH: #PhVote 2016 Miting de Avance)
Vice President Jejomar Binay held his last campaign rally in Makati while Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago attended a grand caravan organized by her supporters at the West Triangle in Quezon City. – Rappler.com
Reginald Gregg Ceballos, a student of Holy Angel University, is one of Rappler’s lead movers in Pampanga.