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Duterte for President campaign gains ground in Vancouver

The movement among Filipinos in Canada to help elect Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines in the May 9 national election is snowballing.

In Metro Vancouver, the movement started when one principal supporter from the Duterte camp in Davao City called for support from the Filipino Community.

An organizing committee was formed and had their initial meeting at Metrotown Centre in Burnaby on February 9, 2016. A headquarters was also set up at 8578 Fraser Street in Vancouver courtesy of Glenn Delfino, one of the strong supporters and a member of the organizing committee.

After a series of meetings, it was decided that a gathering of supporters would be held on March 27, 2016 (Easter Sunday). It was published in Facebook and calls were made by the organizers inviting friends and known Duterte supporters to attend. The gathering was attended by more or less 100 people. It was a big success more than what the organizers expected.

Another mini rally is scheduled this coming April 2, 2016 (Saturday) at the Duterte Movement headquarters (8578 Fraser Street, Vancouver ). A major will also be held on April 16, 2016 at a venue to be announced.

Efforts are made by the organizing committee to coordinate with other Duterte support groups and individuals in Surrey, Burnaby and other areas of the Lower Mainland for joint activities including volunteer poll watching. Coordination is also done with other groups in Canada and parts of the U.S. through video conferencing as well as in the social media like Facebook.

Nicknamed Digong, Duterte is a lawyer. He has served in many elected capacities in Davao City, primarily as mayor. He has also served as vice mayor and congressman for the city.

Duterte has earned a reputation of being tough on criminals. He has turned Davao City from the so-called murder capital of the Philippines to the most peaceful city in the country.

Last year, Duterte declared his candidacy for President of the Philippines in the upcoming 2016 election.

The organizers of the Vancouver chapter of the Duterte for President Movement are Manny Abuel (604- 765-0921), Rene Bahena (604- 710-5275), Glenn Delfino (604- 831-2258), Via Fearnley (778- 999-8939), Rey Fortaleza (778- 895-6667), Bob Ocio (604- 782-1440), Antonio Ortega (604- 562-1451), Eddie Ubalde (778- 320-8863), and Vic Villamera (778- 928-7539).

In the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), Duterte is within striking distance of current frontrunner, Senator Grace Poe.

Poe remained the Filipinos’ most preferred candidate for president based on the TV5-commissioned Bilang Pilipino SWS mobile survey conducted last March 22.

Poe obtained 35 percent, followed by Duterte with 26 percent.

In the survey, Duterte was ahead of Vice President Jejomar Binay with 18 percent, Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas with 17 percent, and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with two percent. (Photos by Christian Cunanan)