Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today vowed to end the political division that has pervaded the country for decades if he gets elected to the vice presidency.
Kicking off the start of the campaign season at the Batac City Plaza in Ilocos Norte, Marcos called on his supporters in his hometown to help him in his campaign of national unity to get the country moving forward.
“Kaya dito ko sinisimulan ang aking kampanya dahil naipakita ng ating mga kababayang Ilokano na pagkakaisa. Ang solid north! Ito ang tumulong sa atin, ito ang nagpakita na maaring magkaisa kaya hindi lamang dapat solid north kundi dapat ang pagkakaisa natin ay sa ating buong sambayanan,” Marcos told the crowd who had gathered to witness the event.
Marcos said the reason why the country has not moved forward is because the leaders themselves have shown the nation the politics of division. “Itong politics of division na kanya-kanya, na kampihan. Kung hindi ka namin kasama, kaaway ka namin. Ito ang naglagay sa atin kung bakit madami tayong problema ngayon sa kahirapan, trabaho, kalusugan at iba pa. Kaya dapat magkaisa tayo upang magagawa natin tulungan ang isa’t-isa,” he stressed.
The kick-off ceremony also marked the first time Marcos and his runningmate, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago were seen together in public since they first announced their tandem for the elections last year.
It was also the first time Santiago was seen in public in a long time. She claimed she had licked stage 4 lung cancer and recovered.
They arrived together at the Laoag City International Airport at around 9 a.m. Tuesday to jumpstart their campaign.
After arriving at the Laoag City International Airport at around 9 a.m. Senator Marcos went on a motorcade all the way to the Laoag City Provincial Capitol with his sister Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos. Thousands of residents of Ilocos Norte City lined the streets to greet them from the airport to the provincial capitol all the way to Batac City.
They then proceeded to the Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion in Batac to hear mass. They were joined by Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos and Senator Marcos’ wife Atty. Liza Marcos.
Santiago then joined them in the kick off rally beside Our Lady of Immaculate Church where they formalized their tandem for the May elections.
In her speech, Santiago said the country needs a young idealistic leader who will take over the reins of government should she be elected and something happens to her.
She added that should win in the elections, she would bring to prison all those who have pocketed their pork barrel. She added she will bring them to brand new jails with different amenities. “May first class, business class, ordinary. Mamili sila pero kulong silang lahat,” she said to the delight of the audience.
She added she decided to join Marcos in Ilocos Norte for the kick off because Ilocanos were special to her. She did not explain why. Santiago is from Iloilo.
After the kick-off, Marcos and Santiago proceeded to the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) also in Batac where they addressed thousands of students.