By Jaime Pilapil | The Manila Times
Balayan, Batangas: Former executive secretary and military general Eduardo Ermita and other local leaders of Batangas province on Saturday endorsed the candidacy of vice presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., saying the senator from Ilocos Norte has the “karanasan, talino, at sipag [experience, intelligent, industrious]–qualities of a leader the country needs.
“I was asked what will happen [in] the vice presidential race. I liken it to a cake cut into two. One piece is being shared by four people while the other piece is solely for one person. It is a very simple arithmetic,” Ermita told reporters at a news conference held in his old wooden house here.
“Bongbong is a very strong candidate. I believe it is his destiny. You cannot prevent him. Even the presidency is a destiny. I am sure he will become President in the future,” he said, drawing applause from other local officials in the house like his daughter First District Rep. Eileen Ermita-Buhain, Mayor Manny Fronda and barangay (village) leaders.
Marcos thanked the Batangas officials and residents for the warm welcome.
The lawmaker said many Batangas leaders are natural allies because they are his party mates in the Nacionalista Party (NP).
It was learned that the vice presidential aspiration of Marcos is being pushed by other influential families here like Vice Gov. Mark Leviste, who is attempting to be the successor of Gov. Vilma Santos, wife of Sen. Ralph Recto, who in turn is an adopted senatorial candidate of the Miriam Defnsor-Santiago-Marcos tandem.
Another big supporter of Marcos is actress Andrea del Rosario, who is running for vice mayor of Calatagan.
On Saturday morning, Marcos led a caravan from Tuy to Balayan.
In the afternoon, the sortie resumed in the towns of Calaca, Lemery, Taal, San Luis, San Pascual and Bauan, before proceeding to Batangas City where the senator was guest speaker of members of the influential Free Masons at the Batangas Convention Center.
Marcos will have a busy campaign sortie next week, namely Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) on Monday, Isabela and Tuguegarao City on Tuesday and Wednesday, Pangasinan again on Friday and Cavite over the weekend.
Marcos said his major campaign strategy is to keep a strong hold on the Ilocos Regions, Cagayan Valley and Pangasinan where he is expanding his “Solid North” to “Solid Philippines,” based on his campaign theme of national unity.
He is the top choice for Vice President in the vote-rich province of Pangasinan in a non-commissioned survey on 1,500 residents of Pangasinan on January 10 to 19, 2016 covering 5 cities and 43 municipalities, with the senator garnering the highest points with 41.5 percent.
Senator Francis Escudero was a far second with 25.4 percent followed by Aan Peter Cayetano with 13.3 percent.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo came in fourth with 7.6 percent, followed by Sen. Gregorio Honasan at 6.9 percent and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th with 5.3 percent.
Issues and Advocacy Center conducted the survey as part of its service to the voting public with field work, review and analysis provided by Data Advisors.
The survey has a 2.8 percent margin of error with 98 percent accuracy.