SHOW OF FORCE. Hundreds of thousands of people troop to Tagum City Hall grounds in Davao del Norte in a show of force and display their solid support for presidential frontrunner Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte during their miting de avance together with the entire UniTeam senatorial slate held in the Mindanao region on Thursday night (May 5, 2022). The supporters said they came to witness history and ensure victory for the entire UniTeam.(Photo: BBM Media Team)

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – Despite a four-hour heavy downpour and an earthquake, thousands of supporters of the UniTeam led by consistent frontrunners presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and vice presidential hopeful Sara Duterte, on Thursday stayed to be part of the party’s Mindanao Miting de Avance here.

The venue, which was the same rally site as the UniTeam’s contending party, was already full and spilling off as early as 2 p.m. even if the event was scheduled to start late afternoon.

A rain-drenched Hermogenes Villanueva, 71, from Asuncion town, said they will stay until the end of the event.

“Magpabilin mi. Naa sab akong mga kauban diri. Nanganhi lang gyud mi para mulantaw sa rally. Andam ko mo-suporta nila, dili ko sa uban nga kandidato,” said Villanueva, who came with her wife and granddaughter as early as 11 a.m.

While the crowd was enjoying the entertainment of the grandest political gathering held in the province, an earthquake struck.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology later said it was a 5.8-magnitude tremor with the epicenter in Tarragona, Davao Oriental.

Despite the rain and tremor, Samra Esmael-Buisan, a utility worker, said she will remain in the venue to wait for the BBM-Sara tandem.

“Gusto namong makita si Sara Duterte ug BBM. Sila akong iboto isip presidente ug bise-presidente nako tungod maayo sila magdala. BBM-Sara unta madaog kay sila ang magdala ug kaayohan [sa nasud],” the 23-year old mother said.

UniTeam senatorial candidates Larry Gadon, Harry Roque, Win Gatchalian, Robin Padilla, Gibo Teodoro, Jinggoy Estrada, Mark Villar and Migz Zubiri, and SAGIP Party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta attended the event.

The Miting de Avance here was the UniTeam’s second after it kicked off a successful gathering in Guimbal, Iloilo on May 3. (PR)