By Joseph Tristan Roxas | GMA News Online
Supporters of Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos on Sunday vowed to continue the fight beyond the tight vice-presidential race between their candidate and Liberal Party bet, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Clad in red shirts, Marcos supporters flocked to the Redemptorist church in Baclaran, Parañaque City to attend a Mass organized by the Marcos camp and advance their call for truth and integrity in a program dubbed "Buong Bayan Magkaisa".
The church, a popular shrine of the Our Lady of Perpetual which has a seating capacity of 2,000, was occupied by an estimated 500 Marcos supporters and regular church-goers.
“Hanggang buhay kami. Hangga't hindi nakikita ang totoo. We are only fighting for the truth and we know that truth will always prevail,” Romeo Barbosa told GMA News Online.
“Lalaban kami hangga't buhay kami para sa kanya. Naniniwala kami sa kanya. Siya ang nanalo,” he added.
Bernie Taghoy, a registered voter in Caloocan City, emphasized the media's alleged bias against the Marcos family. He claimed that the first Aquino administration ordered the burning of books and documents showing that the country was well off during the Marcos regime so that the future generation would be deprived of the truth about the late dictator who ruled the country for over 20 years.
The 40-year old Taghoy said his family benefited from a housing project in Cavite put up by the Marcos regime. He said his family used to live in the slums between the cities of Caloocan and Malabon.
"Dati, ang nakikita lang namin sa TV is yung panget, mga negative about Marcos. Pero kung susuriin natin, maganda noong time ni Mackoy. Yung infrastructure, talagang tuloy-tuloy, nasaksihan namin yan sa Caloocan,” Taghoy said.
Mackoy is a popular monicker referring to the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
"Nasaksihan namin kung paano ginawa yung mga canal, pinalapad yung mga kalsada, nilipat yung mga squatters. Kasi yung squatters dati sa Caloocan, nasa gitna siya ng canal. Parte kami noon. Yung nanay ko, tatay ko, naging part sila noon. Inilipat sila doon sa Cavite,” Taghoy said.
Raymundo Baclayo, a balikbayan from New Jersey in the US, said Marcos is the true winner in the elections and prays to God that the he gets to be proclaimed the winner.
"Nobody is going to win against God. I believe in my heart that Marcos is going to be our vice president because that's the will of God,” Baclayo said, who is a registered overseas absentee voter.
Marcos supporters emphasized their stand on the alleged cheating of the tally of votes to allegedly benefit Robredo who is leading in partial and unofficials counts by about 200,000 votes.
Marcos led the count on election night, but Robredo overtook the senators in the wee hours of May 10.
"Kung susuriin natin, talagang may dayaan. Sa lahat ng anggulo makikita mo na may nangyayaring dayaang. Unang-una, gabi pa lang lamang na ng millions tapos suddenly unti-unti (nawala) habang tulog yung mga tao,” Taghoy said.
Taghoy, a member of the Marcos support group Bagong Bayan Magkaisa, dared the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to restore the original hash code of the transparency servers to prove that there were no cheating in the transmission of results.
Romeo Barbosa, a registered voter from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, said Smartmatic took the public lightly but overlook the fact that other information technology experts are monitoring the polls.
"Akala ng Smartmatic sila lang ang magaling. They overlook the fact na may mas eksperto sa kanila na nagbabantay,” Barbosa said.
"Hinahamon na nga ng IT experts, kasuhan niyo kami, buksan niyo ang (vote counting machines). We will show you paano ang dayaan,” he added.
Barbosa stressed they expect presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to order the arrest Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, and even outgoing President Benigno Aquino III for allegedly leading the massive cheating.
Barbosa added he used to be an anti-Marcos advocate and claims to be a member of the left-leaning Kabataang Makabayan when he was in college until he realized that the allegations against the late dictator were false.
"Actually noong college ako, anti-Marcos din ako ng second year college, kasama ako ng Kabataang Makabayan. Pero later on, noong third year ako, saka ko na-realize na it's wrong, so I turned my back," Barbosa said.
Nothing against Robredo
The 69-year old Barbosa said he has nothing against Robredo, but said she is surrounded by the wrong people at the Liberal Party.
He said the vice presidency is for Marcos to take.
"We are not against you personally. We are against your principle, your advocacy to be the vice president which is not for you. It's all for BBM,” Barbosa said, who is a member of Bongbong Marcos Loyalist International.
Meanwhile, Baclayo urged Robredo to explore other positions and prove herself first before aspiring for the second highest position in the land.
Baclayo added Robredo must not let herself be persuaded by the administration party.
He then compared Robredo to presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe who declared her presidential bid despite being a newbie, while Marcos already established himself in Philippine politics.
"Wag silang magmadali. Hindi pa sila handa eh, hindi pa sila hinog. Patunayan muna nila ang kakayahan nila. Kasi kay Marcos, napatunayan na niya yun,” he said.
"I still believe in the goodness of a person, pero I know how politics goes in the Philippines. I just pray and really hope that God will give us the true and deserving leader, because we need a true leader like BBM,” Baclayo added.