7000 join fun run for Duterte’s poll watchers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 May) — Over 7,000 runners joined the “Run With Duterte, Takbo Para sa Pagbabago,” a multi-city fun run event organized by a group of Davao City-based doctors to raise funds to support the volunteer poll watchers of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Duterte said he has no machinery that can match the resources of his rivals. In a TV ad addressed to his supporters, he says: “You will be my political machinery.”

The number of participants surpassed the previous target of 5,000 runners.

Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles and Peter Tiu Laviña, head of Duterte Team’s media group, addressed the crowd of runners at the Rizal Park here after the fun run.

Dr. Jet Lu, spokesperson of the Doctors si Duterte ang Sandigan (DDS), told MindaNews on Sunday that all proceeds of the fun run will go to the areas in the country where support for the poll watchers are most needed.

“We have a network of doctors who are members of DDS all over the Philippines, so the headquarters will identify the weak areas, and then we will send it to them because that’s the place where most of our votes need to be watched,” he said.

Lu, a pediatrician at the Metro Davao Medical and Research Center, said they did not set a target revenue but they’re hoping to get as much out of the fun run to support more volunteer poll watchers.

“We are just raising any amount given by the Dabawenyos. Any amount, it will go to the poll watchers. We’re hoping to get a good number but this is already a good number,” he said.

Registration fee was P150 for 3K and 5K inclusive of race bib and baller.

This was the third leg after Cebu and Zamboanga, Lu said.

Laviña said he did not know how many poll watchers they will have on May 9 but most of them will be coming from Partido Demokratikong Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan, partylist groups, and other local political parties.

“We are so happy that the people of Davao turned up this morning for the International Labor Day fun run for Rodrigo Duterte,” he said.

Iluminada Abique, 80, of Fortune Homes in Lanang here, the oldest runner, came along with 13 of her family members. They had high hopes Duterte will win and put a stop to corruption.

A retiree from RPN 9 Davao in 1995, Abique said she witnessed how previous presidents had contributed to the decay of the country.

“I wanted to join the support for Duterte because I want change. Corruption has to stop,” she said.

She said she was impressed with how Duterte, mayor for 22 years, has turned the city into a promising metropolis in Mindanao.

Duterte first became mayor from 1988 to 1998. He served as representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001 and as mayor again from 2001 to 2010. He was elected mayor in 2013 for the seventh term with son Paolo Duterte as vice mayor. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)