AROUND 5,000 people from Eastern Visayas gave Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. a virtual send off in a huge rally last Monday night in Tacloban City, Leyte.
The rally of the Warays, with many coming all the way from Samar and Biliran, showed their full support to the candidacy of Marcos who said that he was deeply humbled by the trust given to him.
“Maraming salamat sa inyong suporta sa akin at ako ay humahanga sa inyo dahil labis lang sa dalawang taon matapos ang bagyong Yolanda ay nakikita ko na ang inyong pagbangon at hindi ako makapaniwala dahil parang walang nangyari,[Thank you very much for your support. I admire your resilience, it’s been only two years since Yolanda and I can’t believe that it seems like nothing happened,” he told the crowd that converged at Balyuan Amphitheater.
The activity was the culmination of the three-day (April 23-25) Unity Caravan of Marcos and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, his cousin, who is running for Senator, in Eastern Visayas (Region 8), which is composed of Leyte, Samar provinces, and Biliran.
They were joined by former First Lady and current Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who is considered by the Warays as the "Mother of Region 8” because she is from Leyte.
Marcos brought his Unity Caravan to Maasin City, Eastern Samar; Ormoc City, Borongan, Catarman, and Cartbalogan, all in Samar province; and Tacloban.
He said he was overwhelmed by the reception of the people as well as the endorsement of local officials and candidates to his Vice Presidential bid.
"This is one of the most productive and overwhelming sorties. Salamat sa lahat ng mga Waray and the political leaders, may mga Mayors and others na nagtawiran, [Thank you all. I understand some Mayors crossed over,]” he said in a news briefing prior to his speech at the rally.
Local leaders in the region abandoned party lines to support Marcos’ candidacy. In Maasin, reelectionists Gov. Damian Mercado and Rep. Roger Mercado, together with vice Mayoralty candidate Malone Samaco and Mayoralty candidate Lito Mercado, all running under the ruling Liberal Party (LP), endorsed the candidacy of Marcos.
Borongan Mayor Maria Fe Abunda, who is also a member of LP and sister of show biz celebrity host Boy Abunda, also expressed her support for the Vice Presidential candidacy of the Senator, while former 3-term congressman and ex-commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration Marcelino Libanan, who is running for governor of Eastern Samar, also expressed support for Marcos.
The same endorsement was received by Marcos from Catbalogan Vice Governor Jimboy Tan and the rival political couples of Ormoc City, United Nationalist Alliance re-electionist Mayor Edward Codilla and his wife, Violy, who is running for the House of Representatives and movie actor Richard Gomez and his wife, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez of LP.
Mayor Codilla is running against Gomez while his wife is running against Torres Gomez but both have separately endorsed Marcos’ VP bid.