Thousands of supporters jampack the Robinsons Starmills parking area in San Fernando City, Pampanga where a UniTeam grand rally is being held on Friday (April 29, 2022). The political gathering is touted as one of the biggest campaign rallies of UniTeam standard-bearers, presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte. (HnP photo)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga  – UniTeam standard-bearers – presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte – along with senatorial hopefuls on Friday capped off its Calabarzon sorties with a grand rally here – touted to be one of the party’s biggest campaign events.

Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo together with Governor Dennis Pineda, Vice Governor Lilia Pineda, and Second District Representative Mikey Arroyo led the grand rally at the jampacked Robinsons Starmills parking area in San Fernando City.

The political gathering’s live streaming on Facebook earned 2.4 million views as of 9 p.m.

Vinny Pagcu, a former Overseas Filipino Worker in Saudi Arabia, came to the rally site with a placard that read “Inday Sara gihigugma ka namo. Daug kana! Pahulagway”.

“Inday Sara congrats, siguradong daog ka na (You will definitely win)! Gihigugma ka namo diri sa Pampanga (We love you here in Pampanga). Syempre akong iboto (pagka bise-presidente) walay lain si Inday Sara (I will vote for you as vice president),” said Pagcu, who is a former resident of Bajada, Davao City but moved to Mexico City when she got married.

Being a Dabawenya, she vouched that Duterte can make the country better just like what she and her family did in Davao.

Nagdako ko sa Davao. Nakita nako unsa ilang (I grew up in Davao and saw their) performance as leaders, (ang) Duterte family,” she added.

Pampanga is the country’s 10th vote-rich province with 1.58 million voters expected to exercise their right to suffrage on May 9.

Sagip Party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta, despite his recent withdrawal from the senatorial race, was in attendance to show support to the UniTeam.

Kahit ako po ay nag-withdraw, ang akin pong pakikisama sa UniTeam ay nanatili sapagkat ako po ay naniniwala sa adhikain, sa simulain ng UniTeam sapagkat sila lamang ang nagtataguyod sa kilusan ng pagkakaisa (Although I have already withdrawn from the senatorial race, my belief in the UniTeam and their advocacy for unity stays),” Marcoleta said amid cheers from supporters repeatedly shouting “sayang!”

He added: “Kahit nag withdaw ako, hindi ko iiwan si Bong Marcos at Sara Duterte para pagsilbihan ang bansa (I will not turn my back on BBM and Sara Duterte),” he said.

Senatorial candidates present during the grand rally were Jinggoy Estrada, Migz Zubiri, Gringo Honasan, Robin Padilla, Larry Gadon, Harry Roque, Mari Villar, Loren Legarda, Win Gatchalian, Gibo Teodoro, and Herbert Bautista. (PR)