- ‘Guardians’ back Bongbong

4 April 2016

By Jeannette Andrade |

InquirerA party-list group composed mainly of former military personnel has announced its support for not one of its own but for the son of the dictator many of the group’s members had fought to oust 30 years ago.

The Guardians Brotherhood (1GB) party-list on Sunday issued a manifesto officially declaring its support for the vice presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. instead of Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, national chair of the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc.

Marcos, a member of the Nacionalista Party which has not endorsed his bid, is running for vice president in a loose partnership with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who is running for president.

Honasan, meanwhile, is the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance.

Marcos on Sunday attended a 1GB gathering at the Guardians Republican International Inc. (GRII) headquarters in Barangay Bambang, Los Baños City, where the manifesto signed by 1GB second nominee Rolando Bernardo was read to him.

1GB is seeking a seat in the House of Representatives in the May elections. Its first nominee is Patrick Velez, an assistant secretary in the Department of National Defense, while Bernardo was a soldier.

The Guardians are former and current members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and some like-minded civilians, who are joined in a fraternity or brotherhood espousing fidelity to the ideals of true soldiers for the people.

The manifesto declared: “As a united organization built in the truest sense of brotherhood, we declare our support for the candidacy of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for vice president in the May 9, 2016, national elections.”

1GB cited Marcos as a “leader who will stand for our rights and lead our country to a better future.”

Present were chapter leaders Guardians Solid Brothers Inc. chair and president Virgilio Briones, Guardians New Hope Brotherhood Inc. president Arturo Narvaez and GRII Southern Luzon chair Ronaldo Arrienda.

Marcos thanked the Guardians for their support, citing the oneness exemplified by the brotherhood as he reiterated his call for national unity.

Honasan last night said he was not familiar with the personalities in the 1GB party-list group.

In a phone interview, Honasan said he also did not know if 1GB was an affiliate of the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc.

Honasan was elected national chair of the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc. in December 1998. As an Army officer, he was one of the leaders of the military component that contributed to the ouster of Marcos’ father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.