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People’s grand rally | Duterte leads pro-admin candidates in Davao leg of campaign sortie

Around 50,000 administration supporters are expected to join the People’s Political Grand Rally to be graced by President Rodrigo Duterte today at the Crocodile Park ground in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District.The event will be opened to the public by 2 p.m. and Pres. Duterte is expected to show up by 6 p.m.

Authorities said they will impose strict security measures, including checkpoints and inspections, within the park.

No road closure will be imposed but commuters and motorist are being foretold on possible vehicular traffic.

Organized by the Duterte Campaign Team, the event is in collaboration with pro-administration political allies like Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Nacionalista Party (NP).

“The purpose of this particular event is to have a formal endorsement of senatorial candidates of the party, the MABAGOKOTO,” said Duterte Campaign Team president Arwin Ardon in yesterday’s press conference held at a local hotel.

MABAGOKOTO stands for Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, and Francis Tolentino.

The rally will also throw support to pro-administration senatorial candidates — Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. JV Ejercito, Sen. Sonny Angara, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, former Interior Sec. Raffy Alunan, and musician Freddie Aguilar.

Ardon confirmed that President Duterte will grace the activity to support the candidates.

“This event is really looking for the support of Dabawenyos,” Ardon said. “We are expecting more or less 50,000 to 60,000 people coming from Davao (region).

He said Davao political leaders have signified to support the event and assured to bring in their supporters.

Ardon denied there will be a “hakutan” (transporting people to attend rally for a fee).

He said food and transportation will be provided but no money will be given. Earlier, it was reported that an attendee in any political rally gets P500.

The organizer advised the spectators not to bring in mineral water and any drinks, especially those in canisters, because food and water will be distributed inside the event area.

But some accredited tenants are allowed within the perimeter to sell food.

Security measures

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director, Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, said they will impose the “no backpack policy.”

Tagum said sharp objects like bladed weapons, ballpens, umbrella and the likes are not allowed.

He said all spectators, including those inside vehicles and those walking, will be inspected in a checkpoint.

The Task Force Davao, the Police Regional Office 11 and its Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Highway Patrol Group units and other security forces will help the DCPO secure the area.

“Be assured that we are intensifying our security measures,” Tagum said. “We are also conducting security checkpoints in all areas in the city.”

He said they are providing security units to the attending candidates.

But Tagum assured that the security deployment for Araw ng Dabaw will not be affected by today’s event.

“We have reserve and augmentation coming from the Police Regional Office (such as the) Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the the PNP- Special Action Force,” he said.

Traffic flow

Dionisio Abude, the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) chief, said there is no road closure in the affected area.

Abude said there is an exit point leading to the Bypass Road going to San Rafael Subdivision. This, he said, will lessen the traffic along Diversion Road.

He said they have identified three parking areas for the event. The Bypass Road, from the exit point of the crocodile park to the subdivision, will be used as alternate parking area should the three parking areas will be loaded.

He said the public can already enter the venue starting 2 p.m.

However, those in vehicles can already go inside any time in the morning as personnel are already deployed as early as possible, he said.

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