Manila Bulletin : What went down during Marcos’ meeting with governors?

4 April 2022

By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Bongbong Marcos held a meeting with at least nine incumbent governors and one ranking House of Representatives member on Sunday night, April 3 at his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

A snippet of the meeting was shown on lawyer Vic Rodriguez’s Facebook live post, although the video was shot “spectator style” with none of the audio being particularly clear.

“Live with presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos and local chief executives from different provinces,” wrote Rodriguez, who is the UniTeam presidential bet’s spokesperson.

The Marcos camp later identified the attendees as the following: Governors Dakila “Dax” Cua (Quirino), Imelda Dimaporo (Lanao Del Norte), Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III (La Union), Nancy Catamco (Cotabato), Esteban Evan “Nonoy” Contreras (Capiz), Damian Mercado (Southern Leyte) Ferdinand Tubban (Kalinga), Joy Bernos (Abra), Jerry Dalipog (Ifugao); and House Deputy Majority Leader Xavier Jesus “XJ” Romualdo of Camiguin.

Rep. Romualdo is the son of current Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus “JJ” Romualdo.

“Nine incumbent governors were present in the meeting and I was the only congressman. I was there as Camiguin congressman and candidate for governor,” the younger Romualdo clarified when asked if he represented his father in the meeting with Marcos.

Speaking about the meeting itself, the Mindanao lawmaker said: “We came to see BBM (Marcos) to express our support and then we had a discussion on a wide range of national issues and local government concerns.”

(BBM media team)

Pressed on what topics were tackled during the meeting with the Ilocano presidential aspirant, Rep. Romualdo begged off mentioning specifics and simply said that it was wide-ranging discussion”.

Rep. Romualdo said that his governor father already met with Marcos one-on-one before the start of the local campaign period last March 25.

While specific details about the meeting are scant, one attendee who declined to be named shared impressions on the 64-year-old Marcos.

“I came away impressed with his (Marcos) understanding and grasp of issues. Ang tira kasi palagi sa kanya is hollow at walang alam (The usual criticism of him is that he is hollow and not knowledgeable),” the attendee said.

Marcos, a former senator, has received flak for his decision not to attend presidential debates.

Marcos is running alongside vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the upcoming May 9 polls. Duterte chairs the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), which is Rep. Romualdo’s political party.