The collective effort of various local government units, some 3,000 buses, and the acquitted plunderer–the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, fell short in accomplishing their goal of pulling off the most attended a UniTeam rally ever since the campaign season began.
It remains a mystery whether or not the BBM-Duterte grand rally in the city of San Fernando, Pampanga, has indeed surpassed the crowd size mustered by the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem, in the same venue, on April 9.
Former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the rally for the presidential and vice-presidential tandem of the defeated 2016 vice-presidentiable and the former dictator’s son Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Before the said event, Arroyo and several provincial chief executives allied with the Uniteam, reportedly pledged to send delegations to fill the entire Robinsons Starmills parking area.
Online, several photos of attendees brought to the venue through thousands of buses, surfaced. Photos of food stubs and bus tickets indicating that the passengers were en route to the BBM-Sara rally in Pampanga, also made it on twitter and facebook.
One may find it hard to deny that the said BBM-Sara rally in Pampanga has indeed attracted a massive crowd. Publicity photos released by UniTeam’s media team to members of the press showed the tight crowd that flocked to the venue.
The authenticity of such photos, however, can not be verified as they came solely from the UniTeam. Most of the photos released are also not panoramic and are not adequately lit.
Bakit kami maiinggit? pic.twitter.com/2WaKbrdiVY
— Hunchkins Deu (@Winceravilitism) April 30, 2022
Comparing it to the drone shots captured during the Manalakaran people’s rally of the Leni-Kiko tandem may lead to thinking that the two rallies do not differ much in size.
Respective local organizers of the two rallies pegged the crowd count of the BBM-Sara rally at 250,000, while the Leni-Kiko tandem is said to have drawn 220,000. Pampanga police, however, refuted the Tropang Angat’s claim and reported that only 70,000 flocked to the jampacked ‘Kakampink’ rally.
But one has to note how tightly-looking the crowd that the Leni-Kiko tandem mustered is, while the BBM-Sara crowd had holes and vague areas. The whole area–all its sides and corners, were also not shown [in its entirety] in photos, which made assessing the crowd size for the BBM-Sara rally difficult.
If the 70,000 claim by the Pampanga police has any truth, then it is apt to peg the crowd size for the Uniteam rally be at around that figure?
Such observations cast doubt on the event’s success, as Arroyo failed to meet her expected crowd size. Given the 3,000 buses [that were reportedly commissioned] to bring attendees to the venue from different locations inside and outside of Pampanga, it becomes clear that the GMA’s attempt to pull off an extravagant show of force for the presidential and vice-presidential bets she supports is a failure.