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Thousands attend Tapang at Malasakit launch

01 March 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Tapang at Malasakit Alliance was launched in Hong Kong on Feb. 25, with Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and presidential daughter Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City leading the event.

The two told the thousands of Filipinos who gathered for the event at the back of the General Post Office building in Central that they came in recognition of the sacrifices that the overseas Filipino workers have made for the country.

On Inday Sara’s high-level entourage were Cayetano, Public Works Undersecretary Karen Jimeno, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and Presidential Communication Officer Mocha Uson.

Presidential son Baste Duterte and celebrities Ynez Veneracion, Robin Padilla and Njel de Mesa were also around.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (middle) led launch of the T&M Alliance iin HK.  
She was joined by L to R: Sal Panelo, Imee Marcos, Karen Jimeno, Lanie Cayetano, Baste Duterte
 and Mocha Uson. (Photo by Vir B. Lumicao)
The entourage was escorted by Consul General Tony Morales Jr. and Vice Consul Bob Quintin.

Hong Kong police estimated the crowd at 1,500, but Duterte supporters said it peaked at 6,000. Security and crowd control were provided by the police and about 1,000 marshals from the Duterte Alliance Hong Kong, the event host.

“Paano naman kami magiging malapit sa inyo kung hindi naming kayo pinupuntahan at pinapakinggan? Dahil mga OFW ang priority ni Presidente,” Cayetano said.

But the multitude burst into a big applause when Mayor Duterte, in her speech, said “Saludo ako sa mga OFW.”

Inday Sara said she refused to heed her father’s advice to run for the Senate and chose to be mayor of Davao City, as it was hard to leave her children behind to do her Senate duties.

“Kaya sinabi kong saludo ako sa inyong mga OFW dahil nakaya ninyong iwanan ang mga anak at pamilya ninyo para magtrabaho rito,” the mayor said.

She apologized for the presidential family having waited two years to thank their father’s supporters in Hong Kong. The mayor said Duterte had himself wanted to do so but been tied down by the magnitude of his work since becoming president.

The mayor said it was the OFWs’ spirit of volunteerism in supporting Duterte’s election that led to the founding of Tapang at Malasakit Alliance, of which DAHK is a member.

The workers had used their time, resources and money to support his father, but they broke apart after his election for a lack of activity, Inday Sara said.

Tapang at Malasakit was an alliance that has become a volunteer for humanitarian causes, she said. She cited the humanitarian relief sent to Bicol when Mayon Volcano acted up lately, and goods sent to typhoon-hit Biliran and Surigao, and battle-torn Marawi City.

Jenny Gafate, secretary of DAHK, said the alliance also used the Feb 25 event to gather 8 to 10 balikbayan boxes of relief goods for Albay, Surigao and Marawi.
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