THE Partido Barug of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has thrown its support for presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM) and vice presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the May 9, 2022 elections.
Rama announced this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, a day after the Bakud Party of Cebu’s fifth district headed by Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Duterte Durano III also endorsed the BBM-Sara tandem.
“Partido Barug, PDP-Laban, Marino (Party-list) have made the final statement (that) our presidential candidate is BBM (and) our vice president is Sara Duterte,” Rama said.
BBM is the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, while Duterte-Carpio is the daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.
Partido Panaghiusa, which is in a coalition with Partido Barug and Partido Kusug (Kugi Uswag Sugbo), however, is not supporting Barug’s choice for president.
According to Partido Barug founder Rama, who had long expressed his support for Duterte-Carpio, Partido Barug came up with the decision to support Marcos and Duterte-Carpio during a consultation meeting with party members and other national personalities that he did not identify.
They had delayed announcing their choice for the top post as they had waited for President Duterte himself to endorse his successor. Duterte has yet to announce his choice for the top two national posts, however.
“We only pray and hope that he will also be with us in this direction, and we always respect whatever decision the President will make,” Rama said.
Their political rival, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) headed by former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, has endorsed the candidacies of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III for president and vice president, respectively.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak, one of Rama’s opponents in the Cebu City mayoralty race, has yet to announce the national party and presidential and vice presidential bets that he will campaign for.
Rama’s choice of BBM runs counter to the choices his uncle, Napoleon “Nap” Rama Sr., made.
The late Napoleon was a Cebuano icon in journalism and the fight for democracy against the dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos.
When the elder Marcos declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, Napoleon was jailed along with then senators Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Soc Rodrigo and Jose W. Diokno.
Napoleon then helped Aquino to form the Lakas ng Bayan (Laban) political party to fight the Marcos party, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), during the 1978 Interim Batasang Pambansa election.
Marcos was ousted in the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Bongbong has denied that massive corruption and human rights violations and plunder took place during his father’s 20-year rule despite evidence to the contrary, including countless ill-gotten wealth cases filed against the Marcos family and their cronies, and the court forfeiture of the Marcos family’s US$658 million in Swiss bank deposits to be paid out as reparation for his martial law’s 11,000 human rights victims.
In response, Mayor Rama said, “Yesterday should be a lesson, and what we have today is to move forward to.”
Partido Barug’s coalition partners Kusug and Panaghiusa are led by Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia, Rama’s running mate in the 2022 polls, and former city councilor Jose “Joey” Daluz III, respectively.
Daluz is the son of the late broadcaster Nenita “Inday Nita” Cortes-Daluz, who was among the founders of opposition party Panaghiusa in 1985. Jailed during martial law, she denounced the abuses of the Marcos administration in her radio broadcasts and led street demonstrations against it.
“I respect their choice, but Panaghiusa cannot join them in their choice for the presidential candidate,” Panaghiusa president Daluz told SunStar Wednesday. “We remain and strongly support Mayor Mike Rama, Raymond Garcia, Edu Rama and Niña Mabatid running for their respective positions.”
Edu Rama and Mabatid are running for Congress in the south and north districts, respectively.
Last December, Daluz had already said Panaghiusa would support Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso and Duterte-Carpio for president and vice president.
In another development, political candidates under the slate of the One Cebu Party pledged their support for the reelection bid of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia during their general convention Wednesday.
Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district), secretary-general of the party, said all congressmen of Cebu’s eight congressional districts are under the banner of One Cebu.
Present during the first day of the two-day convention were Reps. Willy Caminero, Vincent Franco Frasco and Peter John Calderon of the second, fifth, and seventh districts, respectively.
Like PJ, the three congressmen also delivered a message of support for the reelection of Garcia, who will face former tourism secretary Joseph Felix Mari “Ace” Durano in the May 2022 elections.
Garcia, the party’s president, rekindled the formation of the party 15 years ago, as a way of preserving the history, culture, tradition and geographical oneness of the Province of Cebu.
She said the party has received support from not only one but two political camps in some areas in the province.
Garcia explained that choosing only one camp in the area is against the true cause of the party, which is to bring unity among the Cebuanos.
“For the sake of unity, I will always be open to those who wish to join us in this call to unite the entire Province of Cebu,” said Garcia.
Garcia’s running mate, Maria Theresa Heyrosa, will face incumbent Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III.
In her speech, Heyrosa narrated her public service experience as a former Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, student leader, doctor, marine biologist and a humanitarian mission leader.
Mayors, vice mayors and councilors from cities and towns in the first to fifth, and seventh districts of Cebu who are running under the party were also introduced.
In a text message, PJ told SunStar Cebu that One Cebu still has not endorsed any national candidate despite local political parties in Cebu having already named their own bets for the national positions.
PJ said endorsement by any opposing party will not affect One Cebu’s decision, unless it is shown that there is an alliance between that national candidate and an opposing local party. (PAC / TPT, CTL, IRT)