By Ina Reformina | ABS-CBN News
MANILA – Presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday secured the endorsement of Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez.
Hernandez announced his support for the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) and UniTeam standard-bearer during the UniTeam grand rally in Biñan City.
“Buong pamunuan ng PDP-Laban kasama po ng iba pang mga partido na nandito ay nagkakaisa para po sa iisang layunin. Si Governor Hernandez po, bilang pangulo ng PDP-Laban Laguna, ang akin pong presidente at vice president ay BBM (Marcos)-Sara,” Hernandez said, as he introduced Marcos as “presidente nating lahat.”
Hernandez earlier publicly announced his support for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the vice presidency.
Laguna has 2.04 million registered voters, the fourth most among provinces.
Marcos obtained the highest votes in the province in the 2016 vice-presidential derby, with 441,154 votes.
This was not the first time Marcos and the UniTeam barnstormed Laguna, which forms part of Region 4-A, the most vote-rich region.
SARA PROVIDES WATER TO RALLY ATTENDEES
The UniTeam rally was scheduled at 5 p.m., but supporters trooped to the venue at the Biñan football field hours prior.
When the main program came into full swing in the evening, many supporters already used up the water supply they brought along.
During the speech of Duterte-Carpio, they pleaded for water and she obliged, asking the production staff to bring in water they could find backstage.
Boxes of mineral water were brought onstage and distributed in disposable cups.
In jest, during his speech, Marcos said: “Para hindi po kayo mauhaw, laging may tubig ang bise-president natin, Duterte!”
‘VOTE STRAIGHT FOR UNITEAM’
Besides enumerating some of the UniTeam’s platforms of governance – such as job generation, support for quality education, and continuing the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure legacy – Duterte-Carpio urged the Biñan crowd to vote straight for the UniTeam, and properly fill out their ballot.
“Para kumpleto ang boto natin para sa UniTeam senators, dalhin natin ang ating sample ballot, dalhin natin ang ating kodigo, at i-shade ang bilog sa kaliwa ng pangalan ng ating kandidato,” she said.
Marcos also spoke about some of the plans and programs he intends to focus on should he succeed in his bid, including supporting the agriculture, tourism and education sectors, expanding “Build, Build, Build” projects, improving digital infrasture, and lowering the cost of electricity.
“Kailangang makahanap ng paraan na bawasan ang singil sa kuryente para hindi na masyadong mahirapan ang taumbayan,” he said.
The UniTeam tandem also emphasized the need for “national unity” to hurdle different crises.
Their respective speeches were interrupted several times, as supporters raised their gifts to the duo.
PDP-LABAN SAYS POSSIBLE TO HOLD JOINT RALLIES WITH UNITEAM
Meanwhile, in an ambush interview, acting Cabinet Secretary and PDP-Laban Cusi wing secretary-general Melvin Matibag said there may be joint rallies with the Marcos-Duterte UniTeam in the final stretch of the campaign.
“Maganda ang pag-uusap namin. Ang UniTeam at PDP-Laban maganda ang pag-uusap, may plano talaga … Balak namin una, sa Bulacan, tapos Parañaque, then baka sakali isa pa dito sa Laguna, Nueva Ecija, and we're hoping na makasama din namin si Presidente,” Matibag said.
He added there are plans to hold a PDP-Laban-sponsored “big rally” in Nueva Ecija and Parañaque.
President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained he will remain “neutral” as far as the presidential derby is concerned, but has openly campaigned for daughter Duterte-Carpio.