By MARK FRANCISCO, ReporterTHOUSANDS of people cheered as a beaming Rep. Rolando Uy introduced Sen. Grace Poe to the crowd, “This is my President!” at Regatta Square, Pueblo de Oro Business Park in Cagayan de Oro City last night.
The crowd at Regatta Square was similar to when President Aquino made his farewell visit to the city last week, only bigger.
As of 6:17 p.m., Poe’s supporters sporting shirts in white, her signature color continued flocking the vast expanse of space, braving the drizzle that had been persisting since early afternoon.
There was no ready explanation for the rain in the midst of El Niño although the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been inducing artificial rain every now and then. Days before the rally of the leading independent presidential candidate, there has been no rain in the city.
Prior to the bigger rally event, Uy ditched his signature green and wore a white shirt in announcing his support for Poe before a smaller gathering of hundreds of supporters at Middleton Apartelle, located in his bailiwick barangay of Carmen where he launched his political career more than two decades ago.
“Nagpasalamat ko nga hangtod karon, naa diay mo nagpabilin kanako ug wala mo sa pikas,” Uy said, soliciting hundreds of cheers and most likely referring to administration candidate former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who was being endorsed by Uy’s closest local ally Mayor Oscar Moreno.
At the same time, Uy told his supporters to continue supporting Moreno’s reelection bid as well as the rest of his team under the Liberal Party (LP).
“Diri ra kami sa presidente naglahi ni Mayor Moreno. I hope makasabot siya ana,” he said.
Uy, the erstwhile LP head in the first district of Cagayan de Oro and a reelectionist congressman, merely said that he was supporting Poe because he saw her sincerity in serving the Filipinos despite her being a neophyte politician.
In return, Poe thanked Uy for continuing to support her even during the 2013 senatorial election where the ex-Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair rose to winning despite being at the bottom of the surveys months before the polls.
For the past months, Uy had been supporting Roxas all along.
Uy’s change of mind was probably galvanized after rumors surfaced that his congressional challenger, Councilor Lourdes Darimbang, was being supported by Roxas. Roxas was the transportation secretary when Darimbang’s spouse Mandangan was – and is still until the present – the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 10 director.
Darimbang confirmed that today in a short Facebook message to this writer: “Yes Mark, Secretary Mar is supporting me.”
Earlier in the day, Poe was also endorsed by Misamis Oriental gubernatorial candidate and concurrent Villanueva Mayor Julio Uy. He is not a relative of the congressman from Cagayan de Oro City.
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