MANILA – Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte capped the official campaign period with a very successful miting de avance attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters at the Solaire open grounds in Parañaque City on Saturday.
The BBM-Sara’s final miting de avance erased all previous crowd estimates during the grueling 90-day campaign trail that started last February 8.
In his speech, Marcos also said the people's support for the UniTeam in the upcoming polls is a vote for unity and progress of the country.
"Alalahanin din po ninyo na ang suporta po ninyo sa UniTeam, para sa tambalang Marcos at saka Duterte ay hindi lamang suporta para sa mga kandidato. Ito ay suporta sa pagkakaisa. Ito ay suporta para sa pag-unlad ng Pilipinas. Ito ay suporta sa magandang kinabukasan (Your support to UniTeam for Marcos-Duterte tandem is not your support for the candidates. This is your support for unity, for progress of the Philippines, and for a brighter future)," Marcos said.
The BBM-Sara UniTeam also held miting de avance in Visayas last May 3 in Guimbal, Iloilo and in Mindanao last May 5 in Tagum, Davao del Sur.
The Solaire grounds became a “Sea of Red” as massive crowds gathered to watch the powerful performances of local celebrities top-billed by Toni Gonzaga, Andrew E., Willie Revillame, Dulce, Cris Villongco, Kris Lawrence, Geneva Cruz, and others.
Andrew E. energized the crowd once more with his unique style of rap songs and hinted that a landslide win awaits the UniTeam pair on Monday's polls.
The crowd was also treated to a spectacular fireworks’ display for at least 15 minutes and a world-class synchronized drone show.
Actress-singer Toni Gonzaga rendered a tear-jerker version of the UniTeam theme song, Umagang kay Ganda before introducing Marcos.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer was accompanied by his wife Louise Araneta-Marcos, and sons Vincent, Sandro, and Simon, for a brief moment onstage.
In his message to the massive crowd, Marcos thanked his supporters for attending the miting de avance and answering the UniTeam's call for unity.
"Maraming-maraming salamat po at dito sa ating kahuli-hulihang rally, ang ating miting de avance ay nagpakita muli ang lahat ng ating kababayan na kasama ninyo ay nasa likod at lakas ng suporta ng madlang Pilipino sa UniTeam at saka sa tambalang Marcos-Duterte (Thank you very much that in this last miting de advance, our countrymen strong support for Marcos-Duterte tandem)," Marcos said.
Marcos also encouraged Filipinos to protect their votes and be vigilant on election day.
He also appealed to all Filipinos to go out and vote tomorrow and take part in determining the next leaders of the country.
Love and support
Duterte, in her speech, hailed UniTeam supporters for the warm support since the beginning of the 90-day campaign sorties around the country.
“Ibang klase kayo. Mula proclamation rally hanggang miting de avance, ipinakita ninyo na hindi pwedeng matinag ang inyong pagmamahal sa UniTeam. Mula Norte hanggang sa dulo ng Mindanao ay ipinaramdam ninyo sa akin ang init ng inyong pagmamahal at pagtanggap sa akin (You are really amazing. From proclamation rally up to miting de avance, you’ve shown that your love for UniTeam will never change. From the North up to the end of Mindanao, you’ve displayed your love and support for us),” she said.
She added: “Naramdaman namin ang init ng inyong pagtanggap sa amin. Higit pa diyan, napatunayan natin na malapit na at sama-sama tayong muling babangon bilang isang nagkakaisang bayan (We felt the warmth of your acceptance to us. More than that, we will rise again as a united people).”
Duterte also expressed her gratitude to all Filipinos supporting her during the whole stretch of her campaign.
“Sa inyong lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako sa oras na ipinahiram ninyo sa amin ngayong araw na ito (To all of your, I am grateful for the time you have lent to us),” she said. “Nagpapasalamat po kami sa oportunidad na ibinigay niyo sa amin ngayong gabing ito na makasama kayo, makilala kayo at makapagbigay ng mensahe ng pasasalamat sa inyong lahat (Thank you for the opportunity you have given us tonight to be with you, to meet you and to give a message of gratitude).”
Unity, she said, will be the steppingstone of the country’s recovery from hardships and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“UniTeam, we have proven that a united Philippines is coming really, really soon. Sama-sama, nagkakaisa, nakikipaglaban, bumabangon para sa inyong lahat (Working together, united, fighting, rising up for all of you),” Duterte said.
She reiterated anew her love for country with her campaign motto “Mahalin natin ang Pilipinas (Let us love the Philippines).”
“Mga kababayan, mula sa aking puso, para sa Diyos, para sa bayan, para sa ating mga pamilya, mahalin natin ang Pilipinas. Maraming, maraming salamat (My countrymen, from my heart, for God, for our country, for our family, let us love the Philippines. Thank you so much),” she added.
Also present during the event were UniTeam Senate bets Herbert "Bistek" Bautista, Jinggoy Estrada, Atty. Larry Gadon, Senator Win Gatchalian, Gringo Honasan, Robin Padilla, Harry Roque, Gibo Teodoro, Mark Villar, and Migz Zubiri. Rodante Marcoleta was also present despite early decision to from Senate rate.
Former Senator Loren Legarda failed to attend the event but delivered her message to the crowd through a prerecorded video.
During the campaign period, the UniTeam duo was able to secure the support of at least 90 percent or 73 out of 81 governors in the entire country, most of whom belong to many vote-rich provinces.
Even Cebu's dominant party, One Cebu, has pledged a landslide win for the Marcos-Duterte tandem in the province with more than 3.2 million registered voters.
Meanwhile, the governors of Cavite and Laguna also vowed another landslide victory for Marcos and Duterte as they projected the tandem to secure a combined 2.4 million votes from their respective provinces.
In Bulacan province, 18 of its 24 mayors signed a manifesto supporting Marcos and Duterte's election bid that could give the tandem the majority votes from the more than 2 million registered voters there.
Aside from the strong alliances forged with various political parties during the campaign, the Marcos-Duterte tandem maintained its dominance in the most reputable pre-election surveys.
Marcos was also able to achieve a wide voter preference margin in the final pre-election surveys issued by polling firms Laylo Research with 64 percent, Pulse Asia with 56 percent, Social Weather Stations with 54 percent, Octa Research with 58 percent, PUBLiCUS Asia with 54 percent, and Tangere with 51 percent.
Political analysts attribute the impending win of the UniTeam tandem to its clear messaging, which includes a genuine appeal for unity among Filipinos amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Analysts also noted that Marcos and Duterte's stand against negative campaigning further helped endear them to Filipino voters who are tired of seeing bickering among candidates.
The UniTeam's platform of government, which focuses on the country's bid to emerge from the pandemic, will prioritize agriculture, job creation, education, youth, housing, infrastructure, digital infrastructure, energy, tourism, healthcare, overseas Filipino workers, Covid-19 response, and national security.
Marcos and Sara also pledged to continue the Build, Build, Build Program that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte started.
Should he win in the upcoming polls, Marcos would make history as the first majority elected president under a multi-party system.
Hosting the event were actress-comedienne Ai Ai Delas Alas and comedian Bayani Agbayani. (with reports from Ferdinand Patinio/PR/PNA)