By Maricel Cruz and Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
UNITEAM presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday started their two-province sortie in the Calabarzon region and commended youth leaders on their active involvement on various major issues besetting the country.
The BBM-Sara tandem barnstormed through three areas in Quezon and is scheduled to visit Batangas today (Thursday).
Addressing the Green Army Youth Orientation Forum at Queen Margarette Hotel in Lucena City, Marcos and Duterte lauded the partnership inked by the youth sector and local government unit through Quezon Rep. Jayjay Suarez.
They explained that the Filipino youth’s commitment to nation-building is a key driver to effectively deal with the serious challenges facing them.
Duterte said the active participation of the young generation will help positively shape their lives in achieving true and lasting progress.
She cited the rising cases of illegal drugs abuse, teenage pregnancies, AIDS, effects of climate change, bullying, and mental health as among the major issues affecting the youth sector.
“Kinabukasan ang pinag-uusapan. Kayo ang kinabukasan, if we do not talk to you about what is happening now, you will not learn from us. You will not get a better future for our country,” Duterte, Vice Presidential Candidate of Lakas-CMD, said.
In her speech, Duterte also expressed gratitude to the people of Quezon for their support they have been extending to his father, President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte.
Marcos, standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), and Duterte also delivered their respective unity messages before the Samahan ng Bisaya sa Dalahican (Sabida) led by its president, Antonio Monterola, in the same venue.
Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez introduced Duterte in the event.
Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez also welcomed Marcos and Duterte in a rally at the Lucena Convention Center here.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Lakas-CMD President Emeritus, attended the separate events held at the Queen Margarette Hotel and Lucena Convention Center.
Another rally organized by the Suarezes was attended by Marcos and Duterte at the Catanauan Central School in its namesake town.
Duterte also joined local leaders in a rally at the Gumaca West Elementary School in that municipality.
In his speech, Marcos Jr. prodded the youth leaders to become active participants in the affairs of their respective communities. He added that it would be their sector that will eventually move the country past the pandemic.
“If you think there’s something good that can be done to help, step in. Tell us what we’re going to do. And that’s what everyone needs. We can’t do business as usual, in many ways it will be the young people who will lead us into the future,” Marcos said.
Marcos also reiterated the importance of giving voice to the youth and encouraging them to share their new ideas with the government, especially now that the country is gearing towards a post-pandemic scenario.
He also acknowledged the youth’s ability to adapt to fast-changing technologies and viewed this as a means to help those in need.
“We need your new ideas, we need your energy, and we need your ideology. The fresh ideas that you can bring to the government is so necessary now especially that technology is moving so quickly and sometimes we, let’s just say we’re older you a little bit are not as skilled and not as quick to understand new situations, new technologies and how we can use that technology to help the people,” Marcos said.
Marcos, who was instrumental in creating the National Youth Commission (NYC), recognized the importance of giving voice to the youth.
He also identified pressing concerns affecting the sector that need to be addressed.
“Teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, bullying now. There is cyber-bullying and many others that we don’t see so we need to hear the voice of the youth, that’s why we supported our National Youth Commission,” he stressed.
During the event, Marcos also said that he considers himself the luckiest presidential aspirant for having Inday Sara as his running mate in the upcoming elections.
“You can see in the words of our candidate as vice president that I am the luckiest presidential aspirant because my running mate is very good, very intelligent, has a lot of experience and has a lot of love for our countrymen,” Marcos said.
Besides Macapagal-Arroyo and Romualdez, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, Rep. Mikee Arroyo, and other local officials from Quezon province joined the BBM-Sara UniTeam in the sortie.
The Quezon province sortie followed the very successful visit of the tandem in Samar and Leyte, where thousands went out to show their support.
The BBM-UniTeam also led the symbolic ‘Salubong’ done in the historic San Juanico Bridge. The event was a symbolic gesture of the union between the North represented by Marcos and the South represented by Duterte.