2022 Philippine Elections

Rains, RoSA dampen Marcos rallies in Samar provinces

Inday Espina-Varona, Lance Lim
Rains, RoSA dampen Marcos rallies in Samar provinces
Uniteam vice presidential bet Sara Duterte's absence is conspicuous in Samar Island, where many local executives back her and Marcos' rival, Vice President Leni Robredo

SAMAR, Philippines – Rains and the RoSa (Robredo-Sara) movement among local executives in the provinces of Samar island dampened the rallies of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday, April 8.

Drone shots of the 8 am rally at the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) grandstand in Catarman, Northern Samar, showed the crowd occupying barely a sixth of its open space. 

The local police said there were between 6,000 to 7,000 persons in the rally. This is the same venue that drew a crowd of 73,000 during the March 28 rally of Vice President Leni Robredo, Marcos’ key rival in the presidential race.

The crowd in the Eastern Samar capital of Borongan was a bit larger but also did not fill up the public plaza, which a local government official said has a capacity of 5,000. 

The Borongan police said 10,000 persons came to see the son of the late dictator. But another city official laughed off the police’s claim, putting his estimate at around 2,000 to 3,000. Videos and photos of the of the event by Efren Catubay show blank areas in the plaza.

The Borongan City police office said the Marcos crowd here numbered 10,000. Photo by Efren Catubay

Rains dogged the Marcos events, but the audience stayed put and remained enthusiastic under their umbrellas.

Must Read

PAGASA not ruling out possibility of LPA developing into tropical depression

PAGASA not ruling out possibility of LPA developing into tropical depression

The pro-Marcos Uys of Samar, a province with close to 600,000 voters in the 2022 elections, gathered the biggest crowd. The governor’s sister, 2nd district representative and gubernatorial candidate Sharee Ann Tan, introduced Marcos at the rally.

Across all three provinces, Marcos stuck to his “unity” spiel – repeating the word pagkakaisa about 15 times in Catbalogan.

Missing Sara

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Marcos’ running mate, was absent in all three rallies. Key local officials here are pushing for a RoSa tandem.

Northern Samar governor Edwin Ongchuan, Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone, Borongan mayor Mayor Dayan Agda and at least 18 other mayors have endorsed Robredo. But they are also known backers of Sara Duterte, as are most of the local chief executives in their provinces.

A press release from the Lakas-CMD, Duterte’s political party, said that she and Marcos “have agreed to split up in the homestretch of the campaign so they could revisit more areas and reach out to remote communities.”

But the Davao mayor’s campaign team did not provide her schedule for the day and released only the Uniteam schedule for the three Samar provinces.

Bato hits Robredo

Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa stood as proxy for Duterte.

He briefly ran through her three main platforms –  opening up the economy and returning jobs lost during the two-year COVID-19 pandemic, providing quality education, and safeguarding peace and order – but reserved the bulk of his speech to hitting Robredo.

In Filipino, the former national police chief quoted her as saying, “If I win, I will be a very supportive vice president to our president, Bongbong Marcos.”

He used this to launch an attack on Robredo.

“Kung saan si President Duterte bising-bise sa ganyang ginagawa para mapaganda ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino, ang kanyang Bise Presidente pumunta sa abroad at walang ginawa kundi siraan ang ating bayan,” the senator said. (While President Duterte was busy trying to improve the lives of Filipinos, his vice president went abroad and did nothing but insult our country.) Dela Rosa did not provide details; Robredo was rarely out of the country.

De la Rosa urged the crowd to vote straight for the Uniteam Senate slate, as an “obstructionist” chamber could hamper the executive branch. – with reports from Alren Beronio/Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.