By 7 p.m., at least 120,000 people had packed the Citi de Mare open grounds along SRP Coastal Road here, said Lt. Col. Ryan Devaras, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office.
This was a full hour before the UniTeam tandem of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was announced to the crowd, at which point it had arguably swelled even more.
Wowed by the visual of the sea of people carrying Philippine flags and placards, 4eelectionist Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri couldn’t help but arbitrarily claim that the attendees more than doubled the police estimate.
When fan favorites, rapper Andrew E. and singer Toni Gonzaga took the stage to do their usual campaign performances for UniTeam, the people lost their minds. The last remaining silent witness to shindig, it seemed, was the full moon hovering on the right side of the stage.
Suffice it to say that the One Cebu party headed by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia had organized a rally–a show of force, really–worthy of a province that has the reputation of being a “kingmaker”. After all, the province is credited with pushing then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo past the finish line in the 2004 Palace race.
This is thanks to Cebu’s huge voter population, which for the May 9 polls stands at 3.2 million. No province in the country can boast of having more voters.
“Cebu has spoken, so will the rest of the country. The next president of the Philippines, [BBM] (Bongbong Marcos)!” Garcia said in her speech, which she mostly delivered in Bisaya.
In his speech, Marcos said that the rally was the biggest he has seen in this year’s campaign. “Ito na ang pinakamalaking rally sa kampanyang ito,” said the Ilocano bet.
Mayor Duterte, for her part, paid sweet tribute to the crowd by simply saying, “UniTeam loves Cebu.”
“Daog na! Daog na! (You’ve already won!)” the attendees would occasionally chant, referring to the UniTeam tandem.
Marcos and Mayor Duterte are consistent frontrunners in pre-election surveys for president and vice president, respectively.
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