Supporters of Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte are holding a victory celebration in Vancouver on May 29.
Organized by the Pilipino Patriots of Canada, the event isn’t all about fun, food, and festivity.
The celebration is meant to raise funds for victims of the devastating fire in Fort McMurray in Alberta.
The tough-talking Duterte pulled a landslide win in the May 9 presidential election in the Philippines.
The Davao City-based politician, who has promised to fight crime and corruption, will take his oath on June 30.
Reynaldo Bahena of the Pilipino Patriots of Canada said that the people trust Duterte to follow through with his pledge.
“They believe in Duterte,” Bahena said.
Bahena also said that Duterte’s promotion of federalism was also key to the strong support he enjoys in Canada, where a federal system of government is in place.
“Here in Canada, Filipinos realize this is a good system,” he said.
Bob Ocio, a former councillor in Cagayan de Oro City, said that the peace and order problem in the Philippines affects not only the poor but the middle class as well.
In addition to the promise to solve criminality, Ocio said that Duterte’s campaign pledge to institute a federal form of government is also important.
Jose Ampeso, former Philippine consul general in Vancouver, noted that the Filipino community voted for Duterte in the same strength as voters in the Philippines.
“He has the leadership,” Ampeso said.
According to official figures secured by the Pilipino Patriots of Canada, Duterte scored a landslide victory among overseas Filipino voters who cast their ballots in the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver.
Voting in the consulate covers the Western Canada region. Allowed to vote were dual citizens, temporary foreign workers, seafarers, and permanent residents.
A total of 11,403 votes were cast in the consulate, and 8,082 were for Duterte.
According to Ampeso, Duterte appears to be the most popular president so far in the Philippines.
The victory party for Duterte in Vancouver will be open to the public. The event is being organized by a committee headed by Victor Villamera.
Villamera’s wife Zeny is one of the most active members of the Pilipino Patriots of Canada. Also a key member is Roland Carcella, former president of the Councilors League of the Philippines and secretary general of the Vice Mayors League.
Glen Delfino Ong, owner of Gardenia Trading Corp., related that the Pilipino Patriots of Canada started with a few members, and has grown into a formidable organization.
In the Philippines, Duterte is planning an event as a thanksgiving to the millions who supported his candidacy in the May 9 elections.
“I have something in mind, it is some kind of a shindig, but as to what it is exactly, you will know the details later,” Duterte said.
Duterte said it is now the time to heal as he urged the opposing parties to move on and forget the travails of the last elections.
According to Duterte, he would not have a lavish celebration when he assumes office as the 16th president of the country on June 30.
He added that he would not hold any inauguration rites at the Quirino Grandstand as what had been the tradition of past presidents, including incumbent President Aquino.
Instead, the inauguration would be at Malacañang and there would be no lavish meals.