By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin
Some observers have noted that the “UniTeam” tandem of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio have, more often than not, been campaigning separately.
While splitting up during on the campaign trail isn’t unusual, Marcos and Duterte-Carpio have certainly done it more compared to their rival pairs.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the lady mayor finally explained why this has been the case. Her answer was quite pragmatic.
“Ganoon talaga po ang strategy ng UniTeam dahil hindi pupwedeng magsama kami lagi. Otherwise, hindi namin macocover ang buong Pilipinas (That’s really the UniTeam’s strategy because we can’t be together all the time. Otherwise, we won’t be able to cover the entire Philippines),” she told reporters during a chance interview in Batangas City.
“Kung saan man siya pumunta, dala-dala niya ang Bongbong Marcos at Sara Duterte at ganoon din ako (Wherever he goes, he carries with him the Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte tandem and the same goes for me). So that way, we cover so many areas sa (in the) Pilipinas and we only collaborate and converge on areas where our strategy is the same, na doon dapat kami magsama (in places where we should be together),” added the presidential daughter.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio have been consistent frontrunners in pre-elections surveys for the position of president and vice president, respectively.
The former is the darling of the north, thanks to the Marcos family’s command of the Ilocano vote; while the latter is just as formidable in the south, and even in the middle islands of Visayas, where the Dutertes trace their roots to.
Duterte-Carpio, chairman of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), launched the Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride (MNPR) even before the start of the campaign last Feb. 8. The caravan, which technically doesn’t involve Marcos, has become her main vehicle in spreading her platform of patriotism and unity to Filipinos all over the country.
The notable events that the Marcos and Duterte-Carpio tandem has been seen together include their campaign launch at the Philippine Arena, the El Shaddai rally in Paranaque City where they formally received the charismatic church group’s endorsement, and most of the sorties in Ilocos Norte.
In Batangas, the Davao City mayor inaugurated the offices of her support groups KISLAP and MASADA before meeting with local political leaders headed by Governor Hermilando “Dodo” Mandanas, a stalwart of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
In the afternoon, Duterte motored to Oriental Mindoro where she was scheduled to meet the province’s officials led by Governor Humerlito Dolor and Oriental Mindoro 1st district Rep. Doy Leachon. Leachon is the senior deputy speaker in the House of Representatives.