By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is “hopeful” of receiving President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement as the next Chief Executive for the May 9 elections, his spokesman said Friday.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez said getting Duterte’s backing is a “big boost” to Marcos’ bid for Malacañang.
Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also said Thursday she was hoping to get the President’s explicit support.
Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte on Thursday held a grand rally in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila’s vote-rich industrial center, where the formidable tandem and UniTeam’s entire Senate slate were formally endorsed by local government officials led by Mayor Rex Gatchalian.
The UniTeam was well-received by thousands of their supporters, who expressed optimism the tandem, together with their senatorial bets, is the best team to lead the country in the next six years.
“Well, kami ay hopeful. Kagaya ng sinabi rin naman I think ng nakararami kundi man lahat ng presidential candidate, it could be a big boost to get the endorsement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Rodriguez told TeleRadyo.
“Hindi kami inosente sa ganun. Gusto rin namin makuha ang endorsement ni Pangulong Duterte but hanggang nga sa ngayon e siguro nag-iisip pa ang ating Pangulo. Maghihintay kami at patuloy na aasa na makuha namin ang kaniyang matamis na oo,” he added.
In a taped public briefing aired late Monday, the President said he was not supporting any of the presidential candidates in the upcoming national polls but believed all the candidates were “qualified.”
Marcos and Duterte’s charismatic presence worked with the crowd as they were greeted with screams and shouts of joy shortly after they arrived at the Wellness Entertainment Sports (WES) Arena where the event was held.
In his speech, Bongbong expressed gratitude for the warm welcome during which he also noted that unity within the city and among all those who were present in the event was very evident.
“I would like to thank the people of Valenzuela for your warm welcome to the Marcos-Duterte team and the entire UniTeam. We at UniTeam want unity. And we are seeing and experiencing it today. Here in Valenzuela, there is already a UniTeam (unity),” Marcos said.
Mayor Sara for her part explained that they are called UniTeam because they are convinced that in unity and togetherness “everything that is good for the country can be achieved.”
“Why UniTeam? Because I believe that ‘in unity there is strength’, in togetherness and unity we can do everything for the country,” Sara pointed out.
During the program, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian formally endorsed the BBM-Sara coalition, saying that among all the presidential aspirants, the UniTeam’s message of unity resonates most strongly to all people around the country.
“Valenzuela City will wholeheartedly support the BBM-Sara UniTeam,” the mayor said.
“You know what attracted me the most to join UniTeam was their message of unity, only one presidential candidate, only one leader with a message of unity, no time to cut, no time to fight, it was even more proven when they joined Mayor Sara, “ the mayor added.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, brother of Mayor Rex, and who is in the UniTeam senatorial ticket, also urged their city-mates to give their unequivocal support to their team especially to Bongbong and Sara, as they carry the message of unity for the country.
“How you supported and loved me, let’s take this to our next president of the Philippines Bongbong Marcos and next vice president Mayor Inday Sara, they carry the message of unity,” Sen. Gatchalian said.
During the interview on the sidelines, majority of the people of Valenzuela were optimistic that Marcos and Duterte could carry the country to greater progress in the next six years.
“We believe in their ability to lead and bring the country to development,” Valenzuela resident Delia Andrade said.