By Maricel Cruz | Manila Standard
Unity will solve the country’s woes, presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., said Tuesday night, as he and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio launched their bid for the top positions in the land at the expansive Philippine Arena in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Marcos Jr. promised to bring unity to the country as this is the supposed solution to the nation’s ills.
“If we study the history of the Philippines, everything that has happened to us, all the hardships and calamities our beloved country has endured, we have survived only by being united,” the former senator said in Filipino to a packed crowd clad in red and green.”
At the same time, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez expressed belief Tuesday that vice presidential candidate Duterte-Carpio was the kind of leader the country needed in 2022 and beyond.
“Tens of thousands have lost their jobs. Our economy suffered its worst blow in modern time. Our people still face uncertainty on what tomorrow may bring for their family and loved ones. At times like these, our people need a leader who will stand as their beacon of hope for the future,” Romualdez said.
The Philippine Arena rang with the echoes of the crowd chanting “BBM” during parts of Marcos Jr.’s speech, where he also called on people to continue what he called a “movement of unity”.
“We need to bring back our trait of being loving, our character of ‘bayanihan.’ No just in the political realm, but we should all live out our unity and love as a society. That’s what we need now,” he said.
Romualdez, who introduced Duterte-Carpio during the campaign kickoff of the BBM-Sara UniTeam ticket on late Tuesday afternoon, said the Philippines was in a precarious situation due to the lingering effects of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said that Mayor Duterte—whose moniker is the “Eagle of Mindanao”—is capable of bringing back the country to its pre-pandemic glory, which it had achieved under the leadership of the latter’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Mayor Duterte, like her esteemed father, has all the attributes needed guide us in the future. The teachings of President Duterte, who himself
was a former Davao mayor, coupled with her youth and vigor combine to make, in my humble opinion, the perfect leader for a country on the rebound from COVID,” the Leyte House leader stressed.
Marcos said he considered himself lucky because Mayor Inday Sara Duterte had agreed to be his running-mate.
Marcos stressed that what fully cemented their partnership was that he and Inday Sara, whose husband is from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, shared the same vision on what was best for the country and the people.
“I am the luckiest presidential candidate in my opinion because the one I have with me as vice president is Mayor Sara Duterte, the best, the best and most of all she has a commitment to her dreams and aspirations for our country the Philippines,” Marcos said, as the UniTeam officially started its political campaign with the holding of proclamation rally at the Philippine Arena in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
“There we agreed immediately when we talked about what the needs are, what should be done so that we Filipinos can recover from the crisis we are going through, the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis,” he added.
Marcos also said they were both optimistic that the Philippines would overcome all the challenges it was facing, especially when all Filipinos united and worked as one.
He also highlighted the need for the president and the vice president to be fully complementing and working with each other to secure the full support of the people.
Members of President Duterte’s vast administration coalition headed by Lakas-CMD—chaired by the Davao mayor—have showered the BBM-Sara UniTeam with their support, as evidenced by the messages given by politicians to Duterte-Carpio in the course of her “Mahalin Natin and Pilipinas” ride.
The ride visited key places in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao where Duterte underscored the importance of patriotism among Filipinos.
Meanwhile, there seems to be no stopping Marcos from dominating the survey ratings as he registered a 56.8 percent voters’ preference and even amplified his lead in the latest Radio Mindanao Network and Asia Pacific Consortium of Researchers and Educators (RMN-APCORE) survey.
According to the RMN-APCORE survey, Marcos maintained his wide lead over the other presidential hopefuls, even increasing his numbers by 1.8 percent compared to his 55 percent last November 2021.
RMN-APCORE survey results showed Leni Robredo was at far second with her 17.1 percent even as her net satisfaction rating—based on
another survey for public officials conducted by the Social Weather Stations—came crashing down to one percent.
RMN-APCORE’s survey was conducted from January 26 to January 30 with 2,400 respondents aged 18 years old and above. The survey has a +/-2 margin of error.
Political analysts say Bongbong Marcos’ lead seemed to be unreachable at this point.
In a related development, the Marcos’ camp denied reports that P200 had been given to individuals who would attend the proclamation rally of the BBM-Sara UniTeam at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Marcos’ spokesperson, lawyer Victor Rodriguez dismissed as “black propaganda” such information circulating on social media.
He said the Arena event was for free. Rodriguez was reacting to a post circulated online asking people to join the rally in exchange for free
food, free shirt, and P200.