By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco | Journal News Online
THE camp of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday appealed for calm and restraint among Filipinos when encountering people with opposing political views, especially in public spaces as the May 9 elections near.
In an official statement released on Friday, Marcos’ chief-of-staff and spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, urged Pinoys to maintain mutual respect with one another.
Atty. Rodriguez’s statement comes after a group of UniTeam supporters figured in a brief ‘chant-off’ with the supporters of another presidential candidate during a chance meeting at an upscale mall in Makati City.
Early in the campaign trail, Marcos and his running-mate, Inday Sara Duterte, pledged not to engage in negative campaigning, a policy they both continue to uphold to this very day.
Rodriguez noted that there is no more need for their followers to engage in senseless arguments as BBM is likely headed for a landslide win in next week’s elections.
“We urge our supporters to stay calm and just enjoy their precious time while with their loved ones and friends, and conserve their energy as we wait for May 9 when our collective voices will be heard as we will all go out and vote,” he said.
In the latest Laylo Research pre-election survey, Marcos’ voter preference revisits the 64% level for the second time, indicating that a further uptrend is imminent.
The survey showed that Marcos is leading his nearest rival by 43 percentage points, a margin considered by some political pundits as almost insurmountable and unreachable.
Barring any significant changes in pre-election survey trends, Marcos and Duterte are expected to win overwhelmingly in the May 9, 2022 elections.
Should this happen, Marcos would make history as the first majority president elected under a multi-party political system.
While benign verbal tussles between supporters of various candidates are common in Philippine elections, heightened emotions and vitriol have magnified its intensity for the followers of some presidentiables who know that their bets are headed to an imminent defeat.