PAOAY, Ilocos Norte — There is such a thing called “Solid North.” And people here showed it on Wednesday.
Thousands of people lined up the streets, sometimes even congesting traffic, as Uniteam’s Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte went around the province’s towns before holding a rally here.
“Alam namin na kayang-kaya ni Mayor Sara na ayusin at iahon ang Pilipinas,” Nellie Ciriaco, a resident of Barangay Quibel in Dumalneg town, said.
Before reaching Paoay, the UniTeam made stopovers in the towns of Pagudpud, Bangui, Burgos, Pasuquin, Bacarra Centro, and Laoag.
It was Duterte’s 16th day of the Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride (MNPR).
Marcos and Duterte were on a caravan float as they greet thousands of supporters lining up on the roadside in despite scorching heat. They were joined by Bongbong’s son, Sandro, who is running for the province’s first district representative.
The caravan lasted for almost seven hours before arriving in Paoay Wednesday night.
On the streets, people chanted “BBM, Sara.” There was even an instance when Duterte, using a microphone, had to shout “Mabuhay ang Mindanao” to show her appreciation to a group of Muslims who were gathered along the street.
“Nasa puso namin silang dalawa. Kung ano’ng suporta namin kay Bongbong, ganun din kay Sara,” said Petronilo Tahon, 60, was among the thousands of people who endured long hours of waiting for the tandem at the wide Paoay Sand Dunes.
Tahon said whoever the tandem endorses for senators, the Ilocanos will give their full support as they are pushing for “Solid North.”
Another supporter who stayed until the end of the rally at midnight was Casey Domingo.
Domingo, 26, who is from Batac town, said the tandem strengthens the unity among Ilocanos.
“She is fierce. May laman yung mga sinasabi. BBM-Sara is a strong tandem. Sila yung kailangan ng bansa,” Domingo said.
Senatorial re-electionists Win Gatchalian and Migz Zubiri, candidates Loren Legarda, Harry Roque, Jinggoy Estrada, Herbert Bautista, Mark Villar, Gibo Teodoro, Larry Gadon, and Robin Padilla were also at the rally. HNP Media
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte flashes his signature pose with newly-promoted Brigadier General, Presidential Security Group Commander Randolph Gonzalez Cabangbang accompanied by his family after the donning of rank at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on February 11, 2022. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
Thousands of people lined up along the highway from Davao City to Bislig City as they waited for the arrival of Vice Presidential candidate Sara Duterte on Tuesday.
The Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride (MNPR) started shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday. Some nine hours and 20 stops later, Duterte and her group arrived in Bislig City in Surigao del Sur, some 226 kilometers away. Usually, a trip to Bislig from Davao only takes around five hours.
One of those who waited for Duterte was Nita Oniola, 61, a resident of Trento, Agusan del Sur.
“Moboto jud ko niya kay maayo siya, buotan siya. Mga pobre ang iyang huna-hunaon, dili ang kaugalingon,” Oniola said as her right hand waved a red and green flaglet while her left hand held Dutrete’s poster.
“Ang akong Vice President si Sara Duterte,” she added.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, during MNPR’s send-off ceremony, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, predicted a landslide victory for Dutrete and her Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.
Quiboloy also expressed support to the Uniteam as he prayed for the safety of every one joining the ride with Sara. The send-off was done at the compound of Quiboloy’s church in Buhangin, Davao City.
Present during the send-off were senatoriable candidates Jinggoy Estrada and Harry Roque — both riding their motorcycles with Sara.
The first stop was in Tagum City in Davao del Norte, where Duterte led the inauguration of the Marcos-Sara Duterte Alliance (MASADA) provincial headquarters.
Duterte, in her short message, thanked the BBM-Sara tandem supporters and called on them to come together in campaigning for unity in the country.
“Maraming salamat sa suporta ninyo sa Uniteam at lagi nating ikampanya ang panawagan natin lahat – ang pagkakaisa. Sama-sama tayong babangon muli,” she said.
Duterte was welcomed by local supporters and the provincial government leaders led by Davao de Oro Gov. Tyron Uy, Vice Governor Maricar Zamora, First District Rep. Manuel ‘WayKurat’ Zamora and other members of the provincial Hugpong ng Pagbabago slate.
In Bislig City, Duterte graced the opening of the LAKAS-CMD Provincial Headquarters with party National Party Secretary General Prospero Pichay and wife, Cantilan Mayor Carla Pichay.
Sara also met Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel and Rep. Johnny Pimentel in a separate event in Bislig City.
From Bislig, Sara’s team will head to Surigao City Wednesday morning.
The MNPR caravan was conceptualized amid the challenges brought by the imposition of different travel and social gathering restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.
The three to five-hour daily ride will feature tourist landmarks, short meet ups with local supporters, and distribution of Philippine flags to remind Filipinos that the country needs unity to advance positive change and sustainable development.
The caravan will start in the eastern side of Mindanao to Cagayan Valley and will head back to Davao after taking the west-side route from Ilocos Norte. HNP Media
To facilitate rescue and recovery efforts and ensure immediate restoration of essential services
On Sunday, December 19, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined President Duterte in an aerial and site inspection of areas in Cebu and Bohol severely affected by Typhoon Odette.
Duterte and Go, together with key officials, flew to Argao, Cebu to assess the extent of damage caused by the typhoon and provide aid to evacuees at the Argao Sports Complex. They also facilitated a situational briefing with key national and local leaders in the area. After that, they proceeded to Inabanga, Bohol, to likewise assess the situation, meet with local leaders, and provide help to typhoon victims.
“Kahapon naman ay binisita namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang bayan ng Argao sa Cebu at Inabanga sa lalawigan ng Bohol. Nakipagpulong kami sa mga opisyal doon upang masigurong matutugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga biktima, lalo na pagdating sa pagkain, tubig, gamot, kuryente, at telecommunication services,” Go said.
Echoing Duterte’s directives, Go added that there is a need to restore power and telecommunications to aid field personnel in making timely and accurate coordination with their respective agencies as well as allowing victims to get in touch with their worried families and loved ones.
“Sa aming mga nakita, talagang malaki ang pinsala ng bagyong dumaan. Kritikal na maayos kaagad ang mga nasirang kalsada at tulay at magsagawa ng clearing operations upang mas mabilis makapasok ang mga rescue and relief vehicles, personnel and goods,” said Go in a statement.
“Kailangang maibalik kaagad ang kuryente at telecommunications upang mas mapabilis ang coordination ng mga field personnel at maging ng mga kababayan nating kailangang makausap at makumusta ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” he added.
During his visit, Duterte directed concerned agencies to coordinate with key players from the private sector particularly energy and telecommunication companies, as well as other stakeholders, to facilitate the immediate restoration of essential services that had been disrupted by the typhoon.
He also ordered the National Housing Authority to exert all efforts possible to rebuild communities by providing housing materials and other aid needed to repair damaged homes or build new ones.
“Nagbigay rin ng dagdag na directives si Pangulong Duterte sa mga ahensya, katulad ng paggamit ng mga Quick Response Funds nila; pagbibigay ng housing assistance, including provision of housing materials for repair of damaged houses; tulong para sa nasirang mga bangka ng mga mangingisda at iba pang agricultural machineries; repair ng mga nasirang gusali, tulay, paliparan, daungan, kalsada at iba pa; community tents bilang temporary evacuation centers; pagkain, tubig at gamot; at food-for-work, cash-for-work at iba pang mga programa upang maibangon muli ang kabuhayan ng mga nasalanta,” Go explained.
Duterte also instructed government finance managers to ensure the availability of funds for agencies involved in the response and rehabilitation efforts as well as to provide additional calamity funds to the affected local government units.
“Agarang nagpahanda ang Pangulong Duterte ng dagdag na pondo para sa mga ahensya na pangunahing tumutugon sa krisis at pati rin sa mga apektadong LGUs. Hangad ng Pangulo na pabilisin ang restoration of normalcy as soon as possible,” Go said.
Go said that based on the meetings conducted with key officials, the President assured that the government is ready to respond to the crisis. The senator emphasized however that a whole-of-nation approach is necessary to fast-track the recovery efforts.
“Inihanda na rin ang MARINA, Philippine Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force at iba pang frontliners para tumulong sa rescue and recovery operations at masigurong makakarating ang mga relief items, equipment at essential personnel sa mga apektadong lugar,” Go said.
“Magpapadala rin kaagad ang DOH ng dagdag na mga gamot, medical equipment at health personnel para maalagaan ang kalusugan ng evacuees,” he added.
The Philippines has been battered by Typhoon Odette on top of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic. But throughout these crises, Go said that the government has shown that it is on top of the situation.
“Nakakalungkot ang nangyari na habang unti-unti na nating nalalampasan ang pandemya ay maraming mga kababayan naman natin ang naging biktima ng bagyong Odette. Papalapit na ang Pasko at ang Bagong Taon ngunit panibagong pagsubok na naman ang dumating sa ating bansa. Gayunpaman, nakikita kong nananatiling matatag ang diwa ng bayanihan na nagbibigay ng lakas at pag-asa sa ating mga Pilipino,” Go stressed.
Despite these efforts, Go underscored the need to further institutionalize the mechanisms required to enable complete recovery and rehabilitation while rebuilding better. He reaffirmed that, in the long run, the country’s disaster resilience requires the establishment of a focused department to handle all of these responsibilities.
“Consistent with my earlier pronouncements as a lawmaker, I continue to push for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience to ensure a quicker, more proactive and holistic government response to calamities and other natural disasters,” said Go.
Moreover, Go also has consistently proposed the establishment of a mandatory evacuation center in every LGU equipped to keep victims safe from harm and taken cared of.
“We must continue improving our disaster resilience mechanisms in order to be more prepared for any crisis as lives are at stake,” he said.
With the Filipino people’s unwavering cooperation anchored on the principles of malasakit and bayanihan, Go said that the country will overcome these challenges and ensure no one is left behind towards recovery and a better future.
“Malaking bagay ang pakikiisa ng mga kababayan natin sa gobyerno. Ang ari-arian ay pwede namang maipundar natin ulit basta ang pinakaimportante ay buhay tayo. At sa mga pamilya ng mga nasawi sa trahedyang ito, taus-pusong nakikiramay kami ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go.
On December 18, Go and the President also conducted an aerial inspection of typhoon-hit areas in Visayas and Mindanao. From Metro Manila, the two passed over Siargao Island before landing in Surigao City.
After surveying the damage at the airport, they conducted an aerial inspection of the Dinagat Islands before proceeding to Maasin City in Southern Leyte where they extended aid and met with leaders to discuss rescue and recovery efforts. Upon returning to Surigao City, they distributed relief and met with key national and local officials.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for his pronouncements during the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits on Thursday, November 12 that showed the country’s integral role in fostering stronger collaboration in the development of the region.
During the virtual ASEAN Summit, Duterte also defended the country’s arbitral victory over the South China Sea saying no country, no matter how powerful, should ignore the ruling. He added that the Philippines’ victory in the arbitral tribunal is a sound and authoritative interpretation of the application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS.
“It is now part of international law. And its significance cannot be diminished nor ignored by any country, however big and powerful,” the President said during the high-level meetings.
Go has expressed his support for Duterte’s pronouncements, saying that the rule of law must always be respected and that any dispute must be settled peacefully by involved parties. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration among ASEAN neighbors in overcoming crises.
“Sang-ayon ako sa sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte. Sa tagal ng samahan namin, kilalang kilala ko na ang Pangulo na palaging uunahin niya ang interes at kapakanan ng mga Pilipino,” Go said.
Duterte also discussed with his counterparts in the ASEAN crucial issues on public health emergency, climate change, and disaster risk reduction management, among others.
“Sinisigurado ng Pangulo na hindi mapapabayaan ang mga Pilipino, lalo na ngayon na sunod sunod na suliranin ang hinaharap natin,” he said.
“Sisiguraduhin niya na mapoprotektahan ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino kung kaya’t ipinaglalaban niya na magkaroon tayo ng access sa COVID-19 vaccines. Pinaalala rin niya ang importansya ng pagtutulungan ng mga karatig na bansa laban sa epekto ng climate change,” he added.
Go has also been an advocate for better disaster management and response in the country, filing a bill which seeks to create a Department of Disaster Resilience. The department is eyed to have an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.
Earlier, Go emphasized Duterte’s independent foreign policy and reaffirmed stronger regional cooperation with the country’s ASEAN neighbors, such as Vietnam, especially on the common fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and in ensuring stable long-term rice supply for the country.
“Naniniwala ako na sa mga hakbang na ito, hindi lamang napapatatag ang ating ugnayan sa ibang bansa, nangunguna rin tayo sa kolaborasyon upang magdala ng sustainable development sa buong rehiyon,” he emphasized.
He also expressed his support for Duterte’s commitment to continue nurturing strategic mutually beneficial relationship with neighboring countries while maintaining an independent foreign policy.
“Malaki ang ating papel sa kagustuhan ng ASEAN na pasiglahin muli ang ekonomiya at mapalakas ang laban kontra COVID-19 at iba pang security threats na hinaharap ng rehiyon,” Go added.
In line with this, Go also urged the government to further promote stronger ties with other neighboring countries in the region, especially on the need to boost production of vital medical equipment and supplies to overcome the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the summit, Duterte also urged his fellow leaders to cooperate against the pandemic, saying “We must work together to ensure that all nations — rich or poor — will have access to safe vaccines. No one is safe until all of us are safe.”
On several occasions, both the President and Senator Go stressed that the poor and vulnerable should be given priorities when a safe COVID-19 vaccine is already available.
“Kami ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, uunahin namin ang lahat ng mga mahihirap, lahat ng mga vulnerable sector para makabalik na tayo sa normal nating pamumuhay. Basta safe na ‘yung vaccine. And, rest assured, as the Senate health committee chair, palagi kong ipaglalaban ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino,” he stressed.