Supporters of a presidential candidate took the bayanihan route to help supporters of rival bets amid the onslaught of Tropical Depression “Agaton” (international name: Megi) in the country.
Agaton, the first tropical cyclone in 2022, developed into a tropical depression on Saturday, April 9, according to PAGASA.
It intensified over the weekend and made landfall over Eastern Samar, Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and other parts of Luzon and Mindanao.
On Sunday, Barangay Hub, an online platform for community stories, shared that a resident of Palo, Leyte named Errol Sanchez offered a ride to five strangers who were stranded in Tacloban City, Leyte.
The stranded people attended the campaign rally of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on the same day as Agaton’s onslaught in the province.
Thousands of people reportedly attended the event despite the bad weather.
According to the post, Sanchez happened to be a supporter of another presidential candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo.
“LOOK: Stranded BBM supporters na dumalo sa Uniteam grand rally sa Tacloban City, hinatid pauwi ng Kakampinks ni VP Leni sa gitna ng bagyong #AgatonPH,” Barangay Hub’s post reads.
GMA reporter Atom Araullo also shared this post on his page.
“Inspiring story from the campaign trail: Stranded BBM supporters na dumalo sa Uniteam grand rally sa Tacloban, tinulungang makauwi ng Kakampinks ni VP Leni sa gitna ng bagyong #AgatonPH,” Araullo said.
According to Barangay Hub, Sanchez was just responding to the calls of other volunteer groups to provide immediate aid in Agaton-hit areas. These groups are volunteers supporting Robredo—the Youth for Leni and the Robredo People’s Council-Leyte.
Aljon Enales, one of the stranded Marcos-Duterte supporters, shared that hundreds of fellow supporters were also stranded due to the inclement weather.
Despite the differences in political views, Enales was thankful for Sanchez for his help.
“Masaya at nakita namin ang sinusuportahan naming mga kandidato. Pero sobrang hirap. Maulan at basang-basa kami. Wala kaming dalang damit. Wala na rin kaming masakyan pauwi,” he was quoted as saying on the post.
“Kaya nagulat kami na isang supporter ni VP Leni ang nagsakripisyong ihatid kaming mga BBM supporter pauwi sa amin. Maraming salamat sa tulong,” he added.
Sanchez, on the other hand, shared that for him, there are no political colors for helping people in need.
“Kapag ganitong may mga nangangailangan ng tulong, wala pong kulay. Ito ang natutunan naming kay VP Leni. Be a blessing to others despite our political differences,” he was quoted as saying.
Twitter user @palamisalami, also a Robredo supporter, offered his home to serve as shelter to a group of 15 Marcos supporters.
In a Twitter thread, he shared how he, his sisters and friends helped keep these supporters safe until the weather got better.
Last night was odd. 12:30AM, learned that many supporters of the massive UniTeam BBM rally were stranded in Tacloban, some of them coming from areas 6hrs away. Tropical depression bringing heavy rains, no transport, fully-booked hotels. (1) pic.twitter.com/BTbRn2UPJW
— JacquesP #LeniKiko2022 (@palamisalami) April 10, 2022
In Surigao del Norte, one of the provinces affected by Agaton, a group shared photos of their members distributing food to stranded passengers in Lipata Ferry Terminal in Surigao City. The group is also supporting Robredo’s presidential bid.
Based on the photos, some of the passengers they helped were supporters of rival candidates.
Since we heard that there were stranded passengers at Lipata Ferry Terminal, we immediately got to work and set up a lugawan for them. No campaigning, just love.
— Surigaonons For Leni (@tlrsurigao) April 10, 2022
As of 2 p.m., the state weather bureau reported in its weather bulletin that Agaton is “almost stationary” over San Pablo Bay in Leyte.
It packs maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center; gustiness of up to 60 km/h, and central pressure of 1,002 hPa.
Tropical Cyclose Wind Signal No. 1 is still raised over the following areas:
- Luzon – The southern portion of Masbate (Dimasalang, Palanas, Cataingan, Pio V. Corpuz, Esperanza, Placer, Cawayan)
- Visayas – Eastern Samar, Samar, Northern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, the northeastern portion of Cebu (Daanbantayan, San Remigio, Medellin, City of Bogo, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan) including Camotes Island, and the eastern portion of Bohol (Getafe, Talibon, Bien Unido, Trinidad, Ubay, San Miguel, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Mabini)
- Mindanao – Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands