By Macon Ramos Araneta | Manila Standard Today
Being a rival in the May elections did not stop Liberal Party leaders of Puerto Princesa City from inviting vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the guest of honor and speaker of the city’s 144th founding anniversary and its Balayong Festival.
Marcos is one of the political opponents of LP’s Leni Robredo, who is the vice presidential bet of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Marcos, a member of the Nacionalista Party, is running along with Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People’s Reform Party.
City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III and their councilors who are all members of the ruling LP feted the senator as their guest of honor in the week-long festival which is a merry mix of socio-civic, cultural, historical, and sports activities. The Balayong Festival derives its name from the Palawan cherry blossoms known as Balayong.
City officials welcomed Marcos at the airport and accompanied him during the Civic Grand Parade from Junction 1 to the famed Puerto Princesa City Baywalk where he delivered his speech.
Marcos thanked the people of Puerto Princesa for giving him a warm welcome, as well as the honor and the privilege to join them in their celebration of the city’s founding anniversary and the Balayong Festival.
“I will bring this memory and the image of your unity, which I witnessed, as I tour the country,” said Marcos.
He noted that the Balayong Festival is a perfect example of his advocacy for national unity.
However, Marcos lamented that the kind of politics the past few administrations adopted had caused deep divide among the Filipino people and made the country’s problems worse.
While in Palawan Marcos also said the next administration should conduct an accurate audit of the collections and expenditures of the Malampaya Fund not only to ensure proper use but also provide the province of Palawan its just share in the funds.
Under the Local Government Code, Palawan is entitled to 40 percent share of the Malampaya Fund but until now the province has yet to enjoy this right.