LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – While presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and staff disembarked at the Masbate City Domestic Airport from a private airplane, his supporters rode dump trucks under the scorching heat to attend the political rally of the UniTeam on Saturday. March 5.
In a Facebook post, senior Board Member Jason Rosero Arevalo of the island province of Masbate criticized what he called the dangerous transportation mode for the UniTeam event at the Masbate Social Center fronting the provincial capitol.
“Eto na po sila. Papunta sa Masbate rally ni BabyM,” Arevalo said in his post that included several photos of people on dump trucks.
(Here they are. Going to the Masbate rally of BabyM). BabyM is a reference to the candidate being the namesake of his late dictator father.
Arevalo urged the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Masbate to look into the case, saying it violates the road safety standards.
“Kargamento lang pwede sa truck, ayon sa batas. Tao mga to. Dehins aggregates. Bawal na bawal to-its. And the trucks don’t even look road-worthy. LTO, ano na?” the local legislator said.
(Only cargoes are allowed on trucks according to law. These are humans. Not aggregates. This is prohibited. And the trucks don’t even look roadworthy. What’s up LTO?)
Trucks are classified under gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), designed to transport cargo, not people, unless in times of emergencies or humanitarian response during natural disaster events.
“Btw, alaws akong sinabi na hakot. Ang besabs ko, bawal to-its sa batas. Check niyo pa LTO rules,” the board member said. (By the way, I didn’t say that there was ‘hakot’. What am I saying is, the law prohibits this. Check the LTO rules.)
“Sama-samang gagawing kargamento. Opps, babangong muli pala,” Arevalo added, referencing a favorite slogan of the Marcos camp. (Come together as cargo. Oh, that’s how we rise again.)
Hakot is a Filipino slang that can mean organizing paid crowds or coercing people into attending an event. Marcos and Robredo supporters have been accusing organizers for the rivals’ campaign sorties of this practice.
Marcos was joined by five senatorial candidates in Masbate: reelectionist senators Miguel Zubiri and Win Gatchalian, senatorial hopefuls Mark Villar and Harry Roque, and former senator Jinggoy Estrada.
Arevalo is the incumbent majority leader of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Masbate under the party of incumbent PDP-Laban governor Antonio Kho, who backs Marcos over his Bicolano rival Vice President Leni Robredo.
Arevalo has declared his support for Robredo.
Kho led local 17 mayors, two congressmen and 490 barangay captains in signing a manifesto of support for Marcos and his running mate, Davao mayor Sara Duterte.
Taking the thrust of previous Robredo events in Bicol, Kho and political rival Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) provincial chairman Ruben Jude Lim, both joined the Marcos caravan to the Freedom Park.
“As your governor, with this forging of alliances and with his great promises, I will declare Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. as our official candidate as president,” Kho declared.
Kho also stated that despite disagreements with Lim and other provincial officials, they were united in their desire to support the BBM-Sara candidacies.
“Pasalamatan din po natin si PFP provincial chairman RJ Lim, and besides our local political struggle, we will be supporting a common candidate for president and vice president respectfully,” said Kho.
According to a Rappler source, organizers asked each barangay to bring at least 10 persons to the UniTeam political sortie. – Rappler.com