QC to Marcos motorcade: Ensure safety of participants

QC to Marcos motorcade: Ensure safety of participants
Photo shows the BBM-Duterte Uniteam motorcade and culminating program held Wednesday, December 8.
Lakas-CMD / Release

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:16 p.m) — The Quezon City local government appealed Wednesday to the organizers of the BBM-Duterte Uniteam motorcade and culminating program to ensure the safety of the motorcade's participants, and of Quezon City residents who will be affected by the gathering.

Organized by the Malayang Quezon City tandem of Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Partylist) and Councilor Winston Castelo, the motorcade began on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, at 7:30 a.m.

“BBM and Mayor Sara are hugely popular and enjoy wide support in Quezon City and Metro Manila,” Defensor and Castelo said in a joint statement.

In a statement Wednesday, the city said that it is ready to liaise with all political groups that want to hold activities in the city, to ensure that minimum health protocols are followed and the safety of everyone is not endangered especially in the event of a pandemic.

"The local government is saddened that the motorcade organizer seemed to have changed his mind and refused to coordinate with the local government, despite a meeting on Monday where the city ensured the deployment of at least 1,000 police and DPOS personnel, DRRMO, Task Force Disiplina, and BFP," the statement read. 

READ: Belmonte refutes Defensor claim: City offered venue for planned rally

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, traffic "from Ever Gotesco to Sandigan is moderate to slow-moving due to [the] political caravan assembly" occupying three lanes. 

This comes after tensions brewed between Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, who is gunning for reelection, and Defensor who claimed that city hall rejected a request to use an area of the Quezon Memorial Circle for a political event because of bias.

To recall, Defensor claimed that Belmote rejected the group's request to use the Liwasang Aurora in the Quezon Memorial Circle and claimed "harrassment" against a rally for presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

READ: Joy Belmonte seeks second term as Quezon City mayor

Belmonte denied the allegation, saying she was "shocked" that the city's quick response would be "misconstrued as having rejected the proposal without clarifying exactly what that activity center was."

"Despite the abrupt withdrawal of their request, the local government will continue to provide support although our known details on the upcoming gathering are limited," the local government said Wednesday.

In a statement issued later Wednesday, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson apologized to motorists, the Quezon City government and MMDA for traffic congestion caused by the motorcade. 

"The organizers of the event did not expect their their meticulous and extensive preparation to be overwhelmed by the large number of supporters of Bongbong and Sara who are eager to unite and see their candidates for the presidency and vice presidency," he said in Filipino. 

"The BBM-Sara Uniteam is grateful for the assistance prepared by the city government under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte for the occasion," he also said. 

Rodriguez was also careful to thank the Independent QC Team of Mike Defensor "who spent their time and resources to bring to life the Marcos-Duterte people's hope of uniting the people."

Philstar.com asked Public Affairs and Information Services Department head Bert Apostol if any ordinance was violated and if any punishment will be metted to the organizers of such caravan but he has not responded yet. This story will be updated with his response. — Franco Luna with reports from Kristine Joy Patag and James Relativo




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