MANILA, Philippines – The Marcos-Duterte campaign postponed its rally supposedly set for Thursday, February 24, in San Jose de Buenavista town in Antique amid protests of residents that the activity would disrespect the memory of their former governor, EDSA hero Evelio Javier.
“We decided to adjust our schedule to a later date in the spirit of peace and unity,” said Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, but did not confirm the specific reason for the postponement.
The Marcos campaign is stingy with details of its schedule, and often leaves media chasing after clues on the social media pages of local officials or their local campaigners.
In Antique, residents caught wind of the rally that was supposed to held at the Evelio Javier Freedom Park, named after the former governor who was killed there as votes for the snap elections were counted on February 11, 1986. He was a staunch foe of the Marcos dictatorship and supporter of then-presidential candidate Corazon Aquino.
Javier’s death is pinned on Marcos Jr.’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His killing is seen as a precursor to the EDSA People Power Revolution that ended the dictatorship.
The Marcos-Duterte rally schedule coincides with the week of the 36th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, culminating on Friday, February 25.
Rodriguez said the rally was supposed to be held at the Binirayan Sports Complex, a stone’s throw from the Evelio Javier Freedom Park. But a Marcos rally at the sports complex would not appease critics as the sports complex was one of the projects of their late governor.
Trouble in Iloilo, too?
Instead, the Uniteam scheduled events in Iloilo for Thursday, but as of writing, controversies hound the venue. Staging a campaign rally at the stadium which stands on the grounds of a public high school in Guimbal town is prohibited by the rules of the Department of Education.
DepEd Western Visayas has asked the local school division superintendent covering Guimbal town to explain.
Iloilo Representative Janette Garin told Bombo Radyo Iloilo Thursday morning that the Guimbal rally has been called off. Garin also said that the stadium, although located on school grounds, has not been legally acquired by the DepEd.
As of writing, Marcos has started his activities in Iloilo, the eighth most vote-rich province with more than 1.6 million votes up for grabs in May.
Marcos lost in both Iloilo and Antique in the 2016 vice presidential elections. Vice President Leni Robredo commanded those votes in 2016 with 119,055 in Antique vs Marcos’ 44,663, and 711,391 votes in Iloilo vs Marcos’ 128,189. – With reports from Joseph Marzan/Rappler.com