Manila Standard : BBM, Sara to resume stumping together; Bicol groups back UniTeam

2 March 2022

By Maricel Cruz | Manila Standard

The UniTeam tandem of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio will be campaigning together more in the coming days.

Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez made this promise late Monday afternoon when asked during a press conference in Davao City on what would be next for the frontrunning UniTeam.

“We will be unveiling the schedules for the month of March, and you will be seeing actually more of the UniTeam campaign together,” said Romualdez, Duterte’s campaign manager.

According to him, seeing the two top poll aspirants together on stage always draws an “explosive” reaction from voters.

“We have felt the warm reception of the people in whatever place that the UniTeam visited. This is proof that the message of the UniTeam campaign has resonated to the broad masses of people, and they really like to see Mayor Inday Sara with BBM campaign together so we will try to also give that to the people,” Romualdez said.

Still, Marcos and Duterte would split up on the campaign trail whenever needed, as this would allow them to cover more ground with less than three months to go before the May 2022 polls.

“You will see a more cohesive, a more coordinated, a more focused, and a more successful campaign. You will see the best campaign ever waged in the Republic of the Philippines for we have no other than our chair of Lakas-CMD here, taking the cudgels for not just the party but for the UniTeam making sure that we will win these elections. That is why we are proud,” he said of the presidential daughter.

Romualdez also praised Duterte for recently completing the loaded schedule of the “Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride”—the latter’s signature land caravan that ran from February 1 to 28. During that stretch, Duterte was able to visit 34 provinces.

“What she says, she does. What she starts, she finishes,” Romualdez said.

“True to form, Mayor Inday Sara organized the caravan, that is why she is the most deserving, she will be the best vice president the Philippines has ever had,” he added.

Meanwhile, at least 30 groups are now openly supporting the BBM-Sara UniTeam in Bicol despite the odds they could be subjected to some harassment or even verbal abuse since the region is a known bailiwick of Vice President Leni Robredo, Marcos’ campaign team said in a statement.

In an interview, Irvin Sto. Tomas, a teacher, and a cultural activist, admitted that he is a second cousin of Robredo, but is openly campaigning for former senator Marcos Jr. and his running-mate Davao City Mayor Duterte-Carpio in their province.

He also admitted that he campaigned for Robredo in the 2013 elections when she ran for congresswoman in their province, but the latter reportedly failed the Bicolanos.

“This election is not really about who your relative is or who your countryman is. Election is actually to elect a president who will lead the country. I know Leni because I campaigned for her in 2013 when she was a congresswoman. For me, it’s BBM and Sara,” Sto. Thomas confessed.

He added that many of their region-mates were disappointed with Leni because she failed to deliver on her promises when she was running for congresswoman, and also as second highest official in the land.

“That’s what’s not funny. Bicol would have had a chance to have a congresswoman and become vice president. In case the region is still neglected,” he said in a statement released by the Marcos media bureau.

Also, hundreds of overseas Filipino workers in Japan on Sunday conducted a unity parade to express their solid support for the BBM-SARA UniTeam in the upcoming May 9 national elections.

A video uploaded on the Facebook page of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) showed a large contingent of OFWs openly voicing their support for the candidacy of presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and his running-mate Inday Sara Duterte.

Nearly five hundred Filipinos from various cities such as Osaka and Ibaraki Prefecture participated in the activity dubbed BBM-Sara Parade We Unite as One in Tokyo.

According to the SMNI staff who took the video, the BBM-Sara UniTeam supporters walked for more than a kilometer while the songs “Bagong Lipunan,” “Umagang kay Ganda,” and “Ako ay Pilipino” played in the background.

The group also intermittently stopped to perform their choreographed dance moves, much to the delight of Japanese people who smiled and nodded at the group who chanced upon them along the busy thoroughfare as a sign of support and approval.

The official colors of the UniTeam, which were red and green, also dominated the participants’ attire. Some also wore “terno,” a traditional Filipino dress known to be a favorite of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

The parade also turned out to be another successful event organized by several Japan-based OFW groups who responded to the UniTeam’s call for unity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, following the huge expression of support he received from the people and local officials of Negros Occidental, Marcos said the
UniTeam’s success doesn’t only come after winning the elections but when their movement of unity fully reached every corner and aspect of the society.

Marcos said the UniTeam is committed to give Filipinos a better life by addressing the problems brought by the pandemic, especially the
loss of jobs and revitalizing the economy.

“We always talk about success in elections, well, of course, that is very important, but the real success will be when we can say that we have united the people and that is the first step to put people back to work, to bring our economy to better position it has ever been before,” Marcos said during his meeting with local officials in Bacolod City.

“We, hopefully, will lead the people to that vision of unity as well, not only in politics but also in society. That I think will be the ultimate success,” the former senator added.