LEGAZPI CITY - At least 10,000 Albayanos converged here on Monday from different parts of the province to express their support for embattled Governor Noel Rosal, who was disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from the 2022 elections last week.
Rosal's supporters shouting "Laban mo, Laban Ko, Laban ng mga Albayanos" in unison also held placards and tarpaulins during the Catholic Church-led prayer rally held at the Penaranda Park.
Some messages inscripted read: "Albayanos, protect our votes," "Governor Rosal, tunay na (true) leader," "Tapat, matulungin, Rosal ang nagbigay ng tunay na pagbabago sa Probinsya ng Albay (Honest, helpful, Rosal, the one who brought real change to the province of Albay)," and, "We are one for Governor Rosal."
In his message, Monsignor Ramon Tronquid of the Diocese of Legazpi (Albay) said "the characteristics in a democratic country is that the interest of the people will be a priority," adding that "there are institutions and no authorities can go beyond the interest of the people."
He debunked insinuations of the church meddling in political affairs, saying, "It is true that the Catholic Church is not involved in political color; there is no color pink nor blue, red or any other colors, but we are here as one Albayano."
Tronquid added that the landslide victory of Rosal against his rivals in the gubernatorial race last May 9 "was the final judgment of the Albayano."
Rosal, formerly the mayor of this city, won in all the 15 municipalities and three cities of Albay, garnering more than 230,000 votes against his rivals.
"We are here today to show to the people that our leader here in Albay is Governor Noel Rosal," Tronquid said.
Renato Miranda Paz, one of the governor's supporters here, said Rosal's political opponents have resorted to "tactical schemes" to destroy his good track record in governance.
The Comelec First Division issued a resolution disqualifying the governor for violating the 45-day ban on the release of public funds by government agencies for social welfare projects.
The cash aid given to the senior citizens and tricycle drivers in March and April was part of the stimulus package of the city government for Legazpi residents who were heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)