Vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte (Photo courtesy of HNP)

MANILA – Vendors and riders of mobile application-based transportation service Angkas on Sunday came to show their all-out support for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s vice presidential bid.

Lilibeth Bardos, a 48-year resident of Tanza, Cavite, was one of the women riders who patiently waited for Duterte to arrive in a meet-and-greet venue in Batasan Hills, Quezon City on Sunday afternoon.

She said being a rider since 2018 helps her provide for her family, especially in supporting her children’s college education.

Nagpapasalamat ako na naging Angkas driver dahil natutugunan ko ang pangangailangan ng mga anak ko noong sila ay nag-aaral pa (I am thankful that I got this job as Angkas driver because I can support the needs of my children when they were still in school),” she said.

Bardos said she was excited to meet Duterte because she admired her kind of leadership in Davao.

“One hundred percent kaming sumusuporta kay Mayor Sara. Gusto ko yung ganoong klaseng lider, yung matapang at palaban. Inaasahan ko po na yung karapatan ng mga kababaihan (maisulong) at ma-implement yung mga nagawa niya sa Davao (We support Mayor Sara 100 percent. We want her kind of leadership, brave and fighter. I expect that the rights of women will be pushed and implemented like what she did in Davao),” Bardos said, adding that there are at least 200 female riders in Angkas.

Bardos and hundreds of male and female riders chanted the mayor’s name after the mayor delivered her speech.

Lilia Laborte, 54, who used to own sari-sari store, also took time to attend Duterte’s sortie in an adjacent venue.

Laborte said due to the Covid-19 pandemic her family lost their source of income.

“Noong pandemic tumigil yung hanapbuhay namin. Nawala yung puhunan kasi bayad kami nang bayad ng upa wala ng (During pandemic, our work stopped. Our capital has been spent because it all went to rental) income,” she recalled.

Laborte now works as a cook to provide for her family.

Laborte, a mother to five children, said she is hopeful Duterte would win the vice presidential race, and that they would be given with proper intervention to reestablish their source of living.

“Umaasa kami na mabibigyan ng tulong at sana sariling puhunan dahil gusto kong bumalik sa pagtitinda (We are hoping that we will be given assistance and hopefully capital because I want to go back to buy and sell),” she said.

Laborte is originally from New Corella town in Davao del Norte.

Another Dabawenyo from Toril, Davao City, also joined the sectoral meet up.

Anita Pardales, 56, now lives in Batasan Hills after leaving Davao 30 years ago. Other members of her family, she said, are still in Davao.

As a Dabawenya, Pardales said, she can vouch for Duterte’s legacy in the city and hoped the entire country would experience the same kind of development.

“Maganda ang mga panukala ni Mayor Sara lalo na bilang Mayor ng Davao. Magiging mabuti siyang Vice President dahil nakita namin ang Davao na mapayapa talaga (Mayor Sara's proposals are good especially as Mayor of Davao. He will be a good Vice President because we see Davao as really peaceful),” she said.

Duterte thanked the riders and vendors for taking time to attend the sorties even on a Sunday.

In her message, Duterte underscored her aspirations of generating more jobs to revive the country’s economy hampered by the pandemic, quality education, peace and order, and unity.

“Gusto natin na makapag-trabaho, makapagnegosyo, makapag-hanapbuhay na hindi tayo takot na merong gumawa ng masama sa atin, sa ating mga anak na pumapasok (We want to be able to work, to be able to do business, to be able to earn a living without being afraid that someone will do something bad to us, to our children who come,” she said.

Duterte’s events were organized by Quezon City local candidates headed by mayoralty bet Mike Defensor and vice mayoralty aspirant Winnie Castelo.

Sara’s brother, Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Duterte, also joined the meet up events. (PR)