Manila Bulletin - Bongbong is the top choice for VP in Pangasinan, Ilocos, and Abra

13 February 2016

By Freddie Lazaro, Charissa Luci | Manila Bulletin

Manila-BulletinSenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos  Jr. is gaining ground in obtaining the Solid North votes as prominent political clans in the provinces of Ilocos Sur, La Union, Abra and vote-rich Pangasinan have thrown their support for his vice presidential bid in the upcoming May 9, 2016 polls.

On the first day of the campaign last Tuesday, former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Chavit Singson said the residents in the province have assured that their votes for VP will go to Sen. Marcos.

Senator Marcos met the members of the various non- government organizations and all towns and villages officials in Ilocos Sur in separate venues in Vigan City on Tuesday evening.

Before he went to Abra on the second day of his campaign sortie, Marcos met the thousands of students from the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan City.

On the third day of his “Unity Caravan,” Marcos hit La Union with the whole ruling Ortega clan, which has dominated politics in the province for over a century, accompanying him when he went on a motorcade.

Like the opposing political clans of Abra who are uniting for his candidacy, Mario Ortega, who is running for governor, said the whole Ortega family, who are running against each other in several posts in the coming elections, will support Marcos’ vice presidential bid.

“You can see here that leaders from different sides of the political fence come together to support Bongbong. We will deliver the most votes in the Solid North. But don’t just take my word for it, ask people around and you will see that it’s true,” Ortega said.

The Ortegas are members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) but for the vice presidency, they said they were supporting the independent Marcos. “We are mostly part of LP but all of us are for Marcos,” San Fernando Mayor Pablo Ortega was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, in a non-commissioned survey on 1,500 residents of Pangasinan conducted on January 10 to 18, 2016 covering 5 cities and 43 municipalities, Marcos garnered the highest point with 41.5 percent. Sen. Francis Escudero was a far second with 25.4 percent, followed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with 13.3  percent. Camarines Sur Rep.  Leni Robredo came in fourth with 7.6 percent, followed by Senator Gringo Honasan with 6.9 percent, and Senator Antonio Trillanes with 5.3  percent.

Marcos also led in the recent survey conducted by Magdalo on 3,000 respondents from across various regions of the country with 28 percent.

Marcos had earlier said the survey results keep him inspired to work harder in the campaign but reminded everyone that the ultimate survey will be on May 9, 2016.

In Pangasinan, dominant political families in vote-rich Pangasinan cross party lines to support Marcos for vice president.

“I think I can report that the so-called “Solid North” is still very much alive and very solid,” Marcos said after motoring through various towns of Pangasinan including Pozzorubio, Manaoag, San Jacinto, San Fabian and Mangaldan.

Marcos said his claim is backed up not only by the warm response from the ordinary people but also from political leaders even from opposing camps who are willing to cross party lines to support his vice presidential bid.

“Let me give you a prime example: your two groups that are running for governor are both friends of mine. Gov. Spine (Amado Espino, Jr.) is a good friend of mine and of course, Mark Cojuangco. His father is my ninong and has been a very close family member,” Marcos said.

The governor’s son, Amado Espino III, is Liberal Party’s bet for governor of the province and would square off for the post with Cojuangco of Nationalist People’s Coalition.

“I have asked them both for their support and they have both said that they will support me. So that’s a very important example,” he added.

Marcos said the Pangasinan vote is crucial to his campaign strategy of reviving the “Solid North”.

But Marcos said he is getting a similar kind of support in other areas of the country as well. He noted that in his visit to La Union on Thursday members of the Ortega clan, some of whom are running against other members of the family, expressed their support for his candidacy.

“Even in Davao, for example, mayroong nabuhay na grupo ang pangalan ALDUB. Sabi ko ano yung Aldub? Alyansa ni (Mayor Rodrigo) Duterte at Bongbong,” he said.

In addition Marcos said there were groups like BiBo (Binay-Bongbong), Aroma (Alyansang Roxas-Marcos), and even Marimar (Mar-Marcos).

“I was just informed early this morning na may tinayo na Bicolanos for Bongbong dahil yung aking mga katunggali marami sa kanila galing sa Bicol and yet I’m still able to gain support even in their so-called ‘baluarte’. So that’s what I mean when I say that people are willing to cross party lines,” Marcos said.