Cebu for Leni organizers: Only 80 vehicles registered, but nearly 200 turned up
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Organizers of the Cebu for Leni caravan explained that the actual registered vehicles during the caravan were actually 80 from different routes.
However, more unregistered supporters joined them allowing the number to swell to 200.
This was the organizers’ explanation as to why they reported publicly that 200 vehicles joined the caravan, contrary to the 20 vehicles reported by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Mark Noble, the spokesperson of the caravan, said they could not control other supporters but fortunately the increased number of vehicles did not cause any significant traffic jams.
Still, supporters of Presidential candidate, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo lamented how the EOC downplayed the number of vehicles during the event.
Cebuano high profile lawyer, Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, said that the number could not have been 20 because he himself saw near a hundred vehicles at one of the starting points at the Redemptorist Church.
“I was there. I participated in the caravan. I’m not even one of the organizers. 200 vehicles participated. We started in the Redemptorist Church, and its wide parking lot was full of vehicles of the participants. We followed 2 routes, South and North, then we converged in Fuente, then we proceeded back to the Redemptorist Church. Many others joined the caravan along the streets.”
“Garganera’s claim is an insult to the hundreds of individuals from all walks of life who participated in the caravan,” said Ligutan.
He also questioned how the EOC could only state 20 when the tagged vehicles reached exactly 80.
For his part, Garganera said that he was only referring to the official vehicles registered to the caravan, which was supposedly at 20.
The EOC and organizers had agreed on 20, but he understands there were non-registered participants along the way.
This is why they saw the Cebu for Leni caravan as a pilot, an example, for the possible regulations in the next caravans to come.
Still, he felt dismayed by the attacks of Leni Robredo supporters against his recent statements as he was only stating what was on their records.
“On the day of the caravan, I expect them to follow what was agreed upon and they should police their own ranks. When news came out that it reached 200 as claimed by others, I called our Traffic and Police officers, indeed there were vehicles that managed to insert and that explained the increase in numbers. I don’t want to fault organizers for that, instead, we’re looking for ways to improve it and secure the safety and compliance of the said protocol in the future caravan.”
“I really don’t know what they want to prove, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about compliance,” said Garganera.
The EOC will be reviewing the caravan to formulate stricter policies to be applied to other caravans.
Garganera said that next time, they will strictly enforce the 20-vehicle per caravan policy to ensure fairness to all political groups wanting to hold similar activities. /rcg
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