ABS-CBN News : Marcos Jr. thanks Toni Gonzaga for hosting UniTeam proclamation rally

10 February 2022

By Mico Abarro | ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. thanked actress Toni Gonzaga for hosting his UniTeam's Proclamation Rally at the Philippine Arena earlier this week. 

"Taos pusong pasasalamat kay Toni Gonzaga-Soriano sa pagiging host ng Uniteam Proclamation Rally," Marcos said in a post on his official Facebook page. 

"Isang makasaysayang gabi na hindi namin malilimutan ni Mayor Inday Sara kapiling ang aming mga tagasuporta, pamilya, kaibigan at mga nanindigan para sa ating samahan ng pagkakaisa - gaya mo Toni." 

Marcos' expression of gratitude came a day after Gonzaga stepped down as the host of ABS-CBN show "Pinoy Big Brother" amid criticism of her introduction of House Lawmaker Rodante Marcoleta at the UniTeam rally.

Marcoleta is among the UniTeam's senatorial bets, and is also one of the lawmakers who opposed granting ABS-CBN a franchise in 2020. The franchise denial resulted in the removal of ABS-CBN from free TV and the loss of jobs for thousands of its employees.

On an Instagram story posted Thursday, Gonzaga called Marcos "my president."

"You're welcome my President," she said.

The family, led by the late dictator's namesake, has embarked on a political revival while thousands who suffered under the strongman's two-decade rule still cry for justice.

Since returning to the Philippines in 1991 from a 5-year exile in Hawaii after his father's overthrow in a "People Power" uprising, Marcos and his family has been trying to rebuild its image, which was tainted by human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship. 

The government has recovered P174 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Government. 

The family denies any wrongdoing. Matriarch Imelda has been found guilty of several counts of graft in lower courts, but has won most of her appeals in higher courts. None of the members of the former first family has been imprisoned. 

- With Reuters