Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today said he continues to be inspired by the resounding welcome he has been getting from his Unity Caravan despite the endorsement of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) of his political rival and efforts to stop him from winning the vice presidency.
“I am completely taken by surprise and humbled by the show of support to my advocacy for national unity. No amount of negative campaigning will stop me from pursuing my advocacy to help our people have a better life,” he said.
He said despite the endorsement of the NPC of fellow Senator Francis Escudero, he remains hopeful that their local leaders will continue with their commitment to help him in his campaign.
Marcos noted that the party line does always apply to the local leaders as what took place in past elections. “Maliwanag na dito sa halalang ito ay nagtatawiran ang mga miyembro. Kaya't umaasa pa ako na makakuha ng malaking suporta sa mga miyembro ng NPC. Kahit na ganun ang announcement ay iyun ang announcement ng sabihin na nating leadership pero yung rank and file ay palagay ko marami pa tayong malalapitan dyan at marami na akong naausap sa kanila at marami na silang nag-commit sa akin,” he said.
He added, “ang party ay hindi na nasusundan at ang tinitingnan ng mga botante at saka mga local leaders ay yung bawat kandidato at namimili sila at hindi na masyadong sinusundan yung buo na party-line.”
Marcos also pointed out that a classic example is the support of NPC Founder Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, his godfather, who had assured him that he would let his members choose their vice presidential candidate.
“Ang ninong ko si TIto Danding ko. Di ba siya ang nagbuo ng NPC. Siyembre lahat ng ginagawa ko sa politika ay kinukunsulta ko sa kanya ay iyan ang kanyang sinabi sa akin na pababayaan daw niya ang mga members na mamili ng kanilang mga magiging kandidato,” he said.
He also said that he asked Cojuangco’s permission to talk to his members and was given the go-ahead. “Siya (Cojuangco) naman ay kanyang sinasabi sa kanyang mga miyembro sa NPC ay open siya basta sa Vice (President). Kaya nag-permiso ako sa kanya na kung pwede kong lapitan ang kanyang mga miyembro at sabi niya kung lumapit ka at mga kaibigan mo rin naman yan, at bahala na silang mamili, bahala na silang magdesisyon,” he said.
This is the reason why he pointed out local leaders like NPC stalwart Isabela Governor Faustino “Bojie” Dy III had expressed full support to his candidacy. “Iyan ay magandang ihalimbawa yan dahil kung maaalala ninyo pag-ikot ko sa Isabela kasama ko si Gov. Dy, kasama ko si Cong. (Napoleon) Dy, kasama ko lahat ng pamilyang Dy,” he said,
During his Unity Caravan in Isabela last week, Dy expressed his family’s full support to Marcos’ candidacy.
On moves to stop his bid, Marcos said while he respects the opinion of others whether favorable or unfavorable to him, in the end, it’s the electorate who will collectively pass judgment on the candidates in the coming elections.
He assured though that he will not resort to “trash talk” and character assassination in his campaign.
“I will continue to present my platform of government to the people in a clean and decent manner. Since the start, my campaign is a presentation of program of actions which if implemented, in my view, will make lives better for every Filipino,” he said.