By Carla P. Gomez | Inquirer.net
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has attributed his rise to the top spot in the vice presidential race to his message for unity and cooperation.
He said the Filipino people have long been divided and the nation could not progress without unity.
“The situation in the Philippines will not improve and we will not be able to address our problems if we are not united in working to move forward,” he said.
The March 29 to April 3 Pulse Asia poll showed Marcos with a solo lead at 28 percent, followed by Rep. Leni Robredo with 22 percent, Sen. Chiz Escudero with 21 percent, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 15 percent, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 5 percent and Sen. Gringo Honasan with 4 percent.
Marcos expressed confidence that more people would support his campaign anchored on a message of unity.
The senator considered all of the vice presidential bets as serious contenders.
On the statement that his victory would bring shame to the country due to his father’s dark legacy of dictatorship and martial law, Marcos said the Filipino people would be the ultimate judge.
Marcos denied having any offshore account. He insisted that all he had was declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
The senator also said he was against the lifting of the bank secrecy law because it would discourage foreign investment.
“Let us keep the bank secrecy law but let us ask all of the politicians to wave the law for themselves,” he added.
He was accompanied in his visit to Bacolod on Tuesday by his wife Louise Araneta Marcos, who has roots in Bago City, and his son, Sandro.
Marcos paid a courtesy call on Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr. and Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella.
During his visit, at least 40 members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and human rights group Karapatan staged a rally at the central market against the senator, only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“The Marcoses should not be allowed to return to power,” Clarizza Dagatan, Karapatan Negros secretary general, said.
On those using the issue of Martial Law abuses to discredit his bid for the vice presidency, Marcos said the people were more interested in knowing what a candidate would do to improve their lives rather than a discussion on history.
“That is the question candidates must answer, and they should not be tempted to engage in dirty politics and name calling,” he said.
Marcos also maintained that his running mate, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago remained a contender in the presidential race even if she only got a two-percent rating in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
“She continues to be my presidential candidate. We will campaign for her and with her, and I believe we will surprise many when the results come in on May 9,” he said.
He stressed that the survey results didn’t reflect Santiago’s strengths – the youth.
Marcos pointed out that Santiago continued to top in mock polls conducted in schools.