By Leoncio Balbin Jr. | Inquirer.net
Hoping to muster the support of his father’s “Solid North” coalition, vice presidential candidate and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. won the endorsement of former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson” and his son, incumbent Gov. Ryan Singson, in a campaign rally on Wednesday.
Marcos proceeded to Ilocos Sur province on Tuesday night, after his proclamation rally in Batac City in Ilocos Norte with presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
The kick-off campaign in Batac was backed by a Marcos powerhouse led by his mother, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, and his sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
Chavit Singson’s younger brother, Jose “Bonito” Singson, a close friend of Marcos, joined the campaign rally in Ilocos Sur.
“I am here to ask for your permission. I am here to ask for your blessing,” Marcos addressed a crowd of supporters.
“Ilocanos have been longing for an Ilocano leader,” Chavit said. “It is high time to bring back the glory and honor to us Ilocanos,” he said.
He said governance was better when the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled the country. “There were many issues and controversies [attributed to] the Marcos presidency but those were nothing compared to other administrations’ scandals,” he said.
Those who resisted the dictator Marcos, however, would disagree with Chavit’s view and would probably cite ill-gotten wealth cases filed against the Marcos family and the many killings, disappearances and human rights violations during Martial Law, which was supposed to have been declared to crush the communist and Moro rebellions and the oligarchic control of the economy then.
In his inaugural home province sortie for his vice presidential bid, Marcos appeared to relive his father’s ill-fated final political campaign.
Thirty years since People Power ended the 20-year Marcos regime, loyalists of the late strongman in Ilocos picked up his campaign signs for his son’s Malacañang run.
Spontaneous “Marcos pa rin (Still Marcos for us)” chants rang with hand signs for V (for victory) and in at least two events, local officials exhorted the crowds to “return the Marcoses to Malacañang.”
The “Marcos pa rin” slogan was used by the then ailing dictator in his fight to remain in power during the 1985 snap presidential elections that precipitated the 1986 People Power that catapulted the late Corazon Aquino to the presidency.
During his motorcade from the Laoag City airport to the provincial capitol, Marcos Jr. and sister Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos flashed the V sign used by their father to cheering supporters.
Many were in red, the color of Marcos’ defunct political party Kilusang Bagong Lipunan- and in pink, the campaign color of Imee Marcos.
They were greeted by chants of “Marcos pa rin” which was echoed even by preschoolers brought out by their parents and teachers.