The “Guimbal Stadium”–the supposed location of the Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.-led campaign rally in Iloilo, was privately owned as it was donated by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of an adjacent school.
Iloilo 1st district Rep. Janette Garin made the clarification Thursday, Feb. 24, after presidential candidate Marcos Jr.’s scheduled rally at the stadium was cancelled amid public uproar alleging that the camp of the former senator was about to use a public facility for his campaign.
The Department of Education’s (DepEd) regional office even demanded an explanation from authorities of the adjacent school, Guimbal National High School, about the scheduled activity.
“The Guimbal Stadium, dati kasi wala naman talaga siyang pangalan. So pag may event ang school, doon ginagawa kasi katabi lang (It had no name before. When the nearby school carried out events, they were held there since it was next to it). So ang owner kasi nung property is the Parents Teachers Association, which is a private entity,” Garin told reporters, adding that “it is not true” that the DepEd owns the facility.
The Guimbal Stadium is located on the property where the Guimbal National High School stands, according to Garin.
“Second, ‘yong sinabing pina-stop daw ‘yong operation at ‘yong school because of the rally, is also not true kasi meron naman talagang pasok (The allegation that the school operation was suspended because of the rally, it’s not true because there were classes). However, despite the fact that it has already been prepared, nagkakaroon na ng bashing na bina-bash ‘yong principal (the school principal was being bashed), he is being threatened,” she added.
Garin, who said it was her husband who prepared the event, said the Marcos camp decided to cancel the event for the meantime. Her husband is a partymate of Marcos Jr.’s running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Garin said the cancellation was meant to avoid bringing more problems to the school staff, including the principal and the teachers, who have been dragged into the controversy and were threatened with charges.
Although the event has been canceled, Garin said, “what is definite is there will be a bigger and stronger rally.”
Duterte-Carpio chairs the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party.