By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco | Journal News Online
PARTIDO Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. made perhaps the understatement of the year when he joked to Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez that he now has a “chance” to win in the polls after gaining One Cebu’s endorsement.
One Cebu’s backing of Marcos’ presidential bid in the May polls was solidified via a covenant signing here on Tuesday.
Present at the event were Marcos, Romualdez, Lakas-CMD vice presidential bet Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and One Cebu chairperson Gov. Gwen Garcia.
“The importance of the events that we have undertaken here today cannot be overstated,” Marcos said. “In fact after we came down from the stage, after signing the different resolutions of support, I whispered to the Majority Floor Leader (Romualdez), and I said, ‘Sumama satin ‘yung One Cebu, sumama satin ‘yung Cebu island. May pag-asa na tayong manalo,'” he added, drawing cheers and laughter from the crowd that included One Cebu members.
Romualdez introduced Marcos during the One Cebu General Assembly.
“Maayong hapon One Cebu, it’s a great honor and pleasure to introduce a (candidate) I have known my entire life, I can personally attest to his compassion, patience and kindness. Today his message of unity and hope resonates throughout our land. Our message that will promise to usher in a new era of peace, prosperity and progress. The next President of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos,” Romualdez said.
“Thank you very much to our Majority Leader for a very enthusiastic introduction,” Marcos said.
But even before gaining One Cebu’s endorsement, Marcos was already on pace to becoming the first majority president in the Philippine since the multi-party system was implemented — at least based on his strong performance in surveys where he consistently gets voter preference ratings of over 50 percent.
The same can be said of his running mate, Mayor Duterte, who has also been posting survey numbers of over 50 percent.
The two comprise the UniTeam. This notwithstanding, Marcos underscored just how big of a deal gaining One Cebu’s nod is this late in the campaign.
One Cebu is the dominant local party in a province that’s home to an estimated 3.2 million registered voters. Marcos said that all throughout the years, Cebu City and Cebu province continue to occupy a special place in political and economic lives of Filipinos.
The PFP bet expressed his appreciation to Garcia and the rest of the party for their support. “If you remember at one event a few months ago, I teased you. Nandito kaming dalawa ni Inday Sara and I remember I said hindi kami aalis dito hanggang narinig na namin ang iyong matamis na oo,” Marcos said. “And I can attest to the fact, napakatamis ng oo ninyo.”