By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin
Ranking officials from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) down south have assured nothing but a landslide victory for the presidential candidate from up north, Bongbong Marcos.
In a simple program Friday night, April 22 at the Manila Hotel, the BARMM signed an oath of commitment to show their full support for Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
With their command votes, the local officials assured that the majority of the almost two million voting population of BARMM will go the way of the Marcos and Duterte UniTeam.
Mayor Duterte arguably has a stranglehold of the votes coming from Midnanao, given her roots and the influence of her father, incumbent President Duterte who is a former Davao chief executive.
While the same cannot be said of the Ilocos Norte-native Marcos, the promise given by BARMM officials gives the UniTeam member yet another reason to be confident of the outcome on May 9.
“We the governors, mayors, and traditional leaders of BARMM, commit ourselves to fervently, strongly, and firmly support the unifying leadership and candidacy of Marcos for the position of president of the Republic of the Philippines, and Duterte for the position of vice president of the Republic of the Philippines,” their pledge of commitment said.
“We commit to protect the will of the people and safeguard the victory of Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., and Mayor Inday Sara Duterte as president and vice president of the Republic of the Philippines, [respectively],” it added.
Present during the ceremony were governors from Maguindanao, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, and their mayors and traditional leaders. Also attending the event were local officials from Basilan and Cotabato.
“It is important to show that the idea of ‘pagkakaisa’, the idea of ‘unity’ is not only a campaign slogan, it is a cause, it is something that we truly believe. And with your acts, with your actions tonight in coming together, yourselves, in coming together with the UniTeam is a big manifestation that we have the right message that this unity is in fact what we need in this time of crisis, in this time of difficulty that the Philippines is going through,” said survey frontrunner Marcos in his speech.
“Thank you again for your support, but I am also, as for, all of you, kung maipanalo natin ito kailangan ko ng tulong ninyong lahat (I would be needing your help once we are victorious). I need the help, I need your wisdom, I need your advice and because of that you can rest assured that you will always have an ear who will listen to you. You will always have an open door to which you can go,” he added.
For his part, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan assured Marcos that the latter would get more than 80 percent of the 420,000 voters in his province.
“Pangako ko sa kanya (Marcos) mahina na ang 80 percent na boto sa buong probinsya kasi wala kaming kalaban (My promise to him is that he’ll get 80 percent of the votes from the entire province; this is a conservative estimate since we are running unopposed),” Tan said.
The local chief executives also promised former senator and Ilocos Norte governor Marcos that they will protect his votes in their respective provinces.
“Sigurado pong poprotektahan natin ang boto ni BBM sa BARMM (We will surely protect BBM votes in BARMM),” said Governor Suharto Ten Mangudadatu, of Sultan Kudarat.
“Hindi na mangyayari na gamitin ang Maguindanao, na gamitin ang probinsya namin para mandaya. Handa kaming protektahan ang inyong boto dito sa Maguindanao (Maguindanao will never be used again for cheating. We are ready to protect your votes here),” said Maguindanao Governor Bai Miriam Mangudadatu.