By Bernadette E. Tamayo | Journal Online
Tribal leaders, transport advocates, and former rebels have expressed support for the vice presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Marcos is elated that political groups from opposing forces are coming together to support him in his vice presidential campaign, indicating his message for national unity is “gaining momentum.”
“I welcome any expression of support, any help that anyone is willing to give us. Ako ay nagpapasalamat sa kanilang ipinapakitang suporta sa akin,” he said during the inauguration of his Unity Headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
Among those present were Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar, former Speaker Prospero “Boy” Nograles, representing the group called ALDUB (Alyansang Duterte Bongbong); Mayor Amy Navarro of Santiago, Isabela representing the group known as BIBO (Binay-Bongbong); Pandan, Antique Mayor Jonathan Tan, representing AROMA (Alyansang Roxas-Marcos); Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, former Valenzuela Vice Mayor Jing Hernandez, and Kilusang Bagong Lipunan Chairman George Balagtas.
Family members led by Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos also attended the inauguration. Historian Rolando Quintos, brother of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Ging Deles was also among the well-wishers.
Leaders of the Umayamnon tribe as well as the leaders of the biggest transport groups, namely: Zeny Maranan of Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Roberto Martin of Pasang Masda, Efren De Luna of Association of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) and Lando Marquez of Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP) also expressed their support.
Former rebels led by former Army Lt. Col. Alexander Noble and Col. Proceso Maligalig, who were among the principal players in the 1986 EDSA uprising that ousted Marcos’ father, his late father and namesake, President Ferdinand Sr., were also present.
In separate interviews, both military leaders said they are supporting the candidacy of Marcos because of his integrity and own track record in government service. They also noted the “lack of positive change” 30 years after the EDSA 1 revolution.
Marcos’ campaign for unity has been getting wide support since the start of the campaign. From his hometown in Ilocos Norte all the way to Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union and Pangasinan, politicians from opposing parties have endorsed his candidacy.
Just recently, Marcos got the endorsement of the influential Eusebio family of Pasig City, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Noting that the sugar industry had been a prime dollar earner for the country years ago, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vowed to support policies that will enhance the industry as well as curb sugar smuggling.
Marcos, who is eyeing the vice presidency in the May elections, outlined during a dinner Tuesday with leaders of the sugar industry his platform of government, including agriculture and particularly the sugar industry.
“I would like to be very active in all agriculture. Let us just say that I would work very hard for agriculture in general, and the sugar industry in particular,” Marcos told the sugar barons.
Among those present at the dinner were Confederation of Sugar Producers Association (CONFED) Negros-Panay Chapter president Francis Dela Rama, National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) president Enrique Roxas, PANAYFED (Panay Federation of Sugarcane Planters) president Danilo Abelita and UNIFED (United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines) president Manuel Lamata as well as several other leaders of various sugar planters association.