By Carmela Reyes-Estrope | Inquirer.net
CITY OF MALOLOS — Vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte personally received on Saturday, April 23, the manifesto of support by 19 incumbent Bulacan mayors when she met Bulacan Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) officials and candidates in this city.
Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Bulacan Chapter, handed to her the manifesto he signed together with Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales Jr., Baliwag Mayor Ferdinand Estrella, Bocaue Mayor Jose Santiago Jr., Bulakan Mayor Vergel Meneses, Bustos Mayor Francis Juan, Marilao Mayor Ricarido Silvestre, Paombong Mayor Mary Ann Marcos, San Miguel Mayor Roderick Tiongson, San Rafael Mayor Cipriano Violago, Hagonoy Mayor Raulito Manlapaz, Obando Mayor Edwin Santos, Sta. Maria Mayor Russel Pleyto and Angat Mayor Leonardo De Leon, Mayor Enrico Roque of Pandi, Mayor Alfredo Germar of Norzagaray, Mayor Jessie de Jesus of Calumpit and Mayor Anastacia Vistan of Plaridel.
Cruz said a similar manifesto was executed by the LMP last year for the presidential bid of Duterte. It was only downscaled this time for the vice presidency.
In a separate manifesto, the same mayors, except for Roque, Germar, De Jesus and Vistan also supported the presidential bid of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and endorsed the “BBM-Sara” tandem.
“We, the incumbent officials and candidates in Bulacan express our full support to the Presidential and Vice Presidential bid of UniTeam candidates Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and Mayor Sara Duterte this coming 2022 National Elections,” the manifesto reads.
“We collectively believe that Mr. Bongbong Marcos and Mayor Sara Duterte is the tandem our country needs to unite our people and to bounce back as a nation. As local elected officials who are mandated to look after the welfare of our people, we have faith that the UniTeam will deliver the much-needed support to our localities. At this pivotal point of history, we manifest our full support to the candidacy of Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and Mayor Sara Duterte and the vision that their leadership carry,” the manifesto also reads.
Cruz initiated and released the manifesto but this time, it is no longer in behalf of the LMP Bulacan Chapter but plainly as incumbent officials and candidates.
An earlier LMP manifesto released by Cruz bore 18 names and signatures of incumbent Bulacan mayors supporting both Marcos Jr. and Duterte which included San Ildefonso Mayor Carla Galvez-Tan, Vistan and De Jesus.
Cruz could not give a clear detail as to why the latest manifesto for Marcos no longer includes the names of Vistan, De Jesus and Tan who were in both the two earlier manifestos.
The presidential and vice presidential preference of Tan, the 24th Bulacan mayor is not known at this time.
Bulacan has 21 municipalities and three cities.
Four mayors – Malolos City Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, Meycauayan City Mayor Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Pulilan Mayor Maria Rosario Ochoa-Montejo and Doña Remeditos Trinidad Mayor Marie Flores – are known supporters of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and runningmate Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
All five of them were not part of either of the two manifestos.
Fourth District Rep. Henry Villarica signed both the two manifestos. Pandi mayoralty candidate Cris Castro, Norzagaray mayoralty candidate Geronimo Cristobal and City of Malolos mayoralty candidate Christian Natividad, Bulacan PDP-Laban President in Bulacan also signed the two manifestos.
Robes said his wife, Lone District of San Jose del Monte Rep. Rida Robes, failed to sign the two manifesto but supports BBM-Sara.
PDP-Laban standard-bearer in Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado who is running for governor and his runningmate former Governor and Third District Rep. Joselito Mendoza support BBM-Sara tandem including their mayoralty, vice mayoralty and councilor candidates in the 21 towns and three cities in Bulacan.