By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — Appealing to the crowd in his bailiwick, Ilocos Sur, presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is an “adopted Ilocano.”
During their grand rally in Narvacan town, Marcos—once again—repeated the tandem’s battlecry for the May 9 elections – unity, which he said is the first step from pandemic recovery.
As the crowd cheered, Marcos looked at Duterte-Carpio, saying: “Sa palagay ko, Inday, sa sigaw na dito, official na—ikaw ay adopted na na Ilocano (I believe, Inday, with the cheer of the crowd, it’s official—you are now an adopted Ilocano).”
In both his speeches in his bailiwick, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, Marcos rallied for support for Duterte-Carpio, saying he is a “very lucky” presidential candidate for having her as his running mate.
“Napakaswerte ko po dahil tinitingnan ko lahat ng vice presidential candidate ay ako’y nagpapasalamat na naging mapalad ako na ang naging partner ko ay ang pinakamagaling, pinakamahusay, pinakamatapang at bukod sa lahat ay napakalalim ng paninindigan sa pagmamahal sa Pilipinas sa paniniwala niya sa pagkakaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Marcos said in Narvacan.
(I am very lucky because I look at all vice presidential candidates and I am thankful that I was given the best, most competent, and most courageous partner and above all, she stands by her love for the country and her belief in the unity of Filipinos.)
Even former Ilocos Sur governor and incumbent Narvacan mayor Chavit Singson campaigned for Duterte-Carpio.
“Isa pang hihingin ko sa inyong lahat. Kung anong pagmamahal ang ibinibigay natin sa ating magiging presidente, si BBM (Marcos), sana hinihingi ko sa inyong lahat na ganun din ang pagmamahal na ibibigay natin kay Mayor Sara,” Singson said.
(I have an appeal to all of you. Whatever kind of love we give to our President Marcos, I hope you give the same to Mayor Sara.)
“Nakakahiya kung hindi natin—kailangan pantay sila ng boto. Kailangan hindi sila magkakalayo. Nakakahiya kung malayo ang agwat nila,” he added.
(It would be a shame if their votes are not close to even. They should not be far apart from each other. It would be a shame if there is a large gap.)
Rallying for support for Duterte-Carpio has been a consistent theme in Marcos’ speeches in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.
In Ilocos Norte where he served as governor for 12 years, Marcos called on his supporters to back Duterte-Carpio if they will support him.
“Kaya’t napaka-importante na kapag nahalal natin ang pangulo ay dapat bigyan din ang pangulong yun ng isang tutulong at magta-trabaho—at hindi lalaban—kundi siya ay gagawin ang lahat para maging matagumpay ang ating ginagawa,” Marcos said in Paoay.
(So it’s very important that we elect the president we should also give that president someone who would help and work — not someone who will fight but will do everything to ensure everything we do will be successful.)
“At yan po ang hiling ko sa inyo: Kung kayo ay magbibigay ng suporta na ‘yan sa akin, kailangan na kailangan na isama niyo po ang pagsuporta sa ating bise presidente na si Mayor Inday Sara,” he added.
(And that is my request: If you will give your support to me, it is really necessary that you also include your support for our vice president, Mayor Inday Sara.)
In the 2016 vice presidential elections, Marcos won by a landslide in both Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.
Far behind in the two provinces was then vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo who now faces Marcos in the presidential race. Nonetheless, Robredo won the national vote in 2016.
The Marcos-Duterte tandem’s campaign has been running under the narrative of the uniting the northern and the southern parts of the country.