2022 Philippine Elections

Isko’s Maranao supporters blame strategist for aborted Marawi rally

Froilan Gallardo

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Isko’s Maranao supporters blame strategist for aborted Marawi rally

COSTUMED. A costumed member of a local gay community climbs up a truck as presidential bet Manila Mayor Isko Moreno woos his supporters in Cagayan de Oro on Monday, March 28.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

Isko Moreno’s Maranao supporters are disappointed over the group’s decision to meet with Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Dimaporo whose family is known to be a Marcos supporter, instead of an MILF commander and his followers

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Presidential bet Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was supposed to hold a campaign rally in predominantly Muslim Marawi City on Tuesday, March 29, but plans miscarried because of a rift between his supporters and political strategist Angelito Banayo.

Drieza Lininding, leader of the Marawi Consensus Group (MCG) who threw his support behind Moreno, said the Manila mayor’s Maranao supporters did not prepare for the now aborted rally in Marawi because of Banayo.

Lininding said Banayo and Moreno’s national campaign team have been “misreading the local political situation,” and rejected an offer from Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Abdullah Makapaar, popularly known as “Commander Bravo,” to mobilize his followers and their families for the presidential candidate’s planned Marawi rally.

To their disappointment, the Moreno group chose to meet with Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Dimaporo instead.

“Dimaporo is a BBM (Bongbong Marcos) supporter and her family has supported the Marcoses since the days of martial law,” Lininding said.

Banayo has brushed aside Lininding’s rants, and told Rappler in an earlier interview that he was “the last person to disdain direct people’s support.”

Ernest Ramel, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman, also said Lininding gave an “unfair characterization” of the thrust of Moreno’s national campaign team.

Challenges and spoiler

Moreno’s campaign sortie in Northern Mindanao since Monday, March 28, has been challenging. He barnstormed Gingoog City and vote-rich Balingasag town, both in eastern Misamis Oriental, and concluded the day with a rally in Cagayan de Oro.

It was his biggest political event – and biggest crowd – that day, but it was cut short by a heavy downpour.

SPOILER. Heavy rain cut short the rally of presidential bet Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in Cagayan de Oro on Monday night, March 28. (Froilan Gallardo/Rappler)

On separate occasions, he paid local chief executives courtesy calls, but none of the politicians expressed support for his presidential bid.

Moreno first went to Gingoog City where he paid a courtesy call on Mayor Erick Cañosa whose vice mayor and gubernatorial candidate, Peter Unabia, supports Marcos’ candidacy.

He then went to the capitol and met with Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano who gifted him with a token but stopped short of endorsing his presidential bid.

At the Cagayan de Oro City hall, he was welcomed by Mayor Oscar Moreno who earlier declared his support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo.

The Manila mayor, his running mate Willie Ong, and senatorial bets then met with Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Jose Cabantan at the Bishop’s Palace.

“We are happy because we were welcomed and graciously received,” he said.

Unlike their rivals, Moreno said, they were bringing their campaign to the people, and not the other way around.

Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano (right)gave a token gift to Presidential bet Isko Moreno in Cagayan de Oro Monday. Emano however did not give an endorsement to the presidential bid of Moreno. Photo by Froilan Gallardo

His motorcade before the Cagayan de Oro rally became more festive when members of an LGBTQ+ group in costumes and torches greeted him near the rally venue.

But then the rains came down, spoiling his ticket’s evening rally in Cagayan de Oro. As soon as it poured, many left their seats and took shelter elsewhere or left, while others joined fellow Moreno supporters who danced and sang in the rain with the presidential candidate.

Drenched, Moreno tried to keep the spirit of his supporters going but in the end, nature won and he told his supporters to go home.

The washed-out stage and streets in Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro where the rally was held was empty by 7 pm. The rally started without rain at around 6 pm. – Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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