By Ma. Reina Leanne Tolentino | The Manila Times
THE partnership between the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) was officially sealed on Wednesday when the former adopted a resolution adopting Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as its presidential candidate.
The party also officially adopted a resolution confirming Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as its vice presidential bet.
The resolutions were adopted during the virtual meeting of the party's Executive Committee late Wednesday afternoon.
Duterte-Carpio is the Lakas-CMD chairman.
Marcos' political party, the PFP, adopted Duterte-Carpio early this month. On November 13, the PFP endorsed Duterte-Carpio as Marcos' running mate.
The Lakas-CMD party also adopted a resolution empowering its president, Leyte First District Rep. Martin Romualdez, to enter into alliance agreements with other political parties.
It underscored the importance of "building alliances with different political groups to strengthen the party's political resources and assets aimed at enhancing the winning chances of Lakas-CMD's candidates."
On Sunday, the BBM-Sara Uniteam kicked off its first caravan in Mindanao. Marcos and Duterte-Carpio made their first public appearance in the motorcade.
On Tuesday, Marcos took a drug test following the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that a presidential candidate used cocaine. Marcos tested negative.
Duterte-Carpio, the eldest daughter of the President, said that she also took a drug test upon the request of her running mate.
"Today, I took a drug test that yielded negative of any illegal substances. This test, I took voluntarily upon the request of my Uniteam partner, Senator Bongbong Marcos, to support the call for transparency as aspiring public officials seeking the trust of our fellow Filipinos," she said in a statement.
However, unlike Marcos, who only got tested for cocaine use, Duterte-Carpio was tested on several illegal drugs such as opium, ecstasy, and meth or shabu.
"Uniteam BBM-Sara's stand against illegal drugs is united and unequivocal. This can be seen from both our negative tests as well as our common stance against the proliferation of illegal drugs and the need for effective measures of prevention, rehabilitation, and enforcement," the Davao City mayor said.
She called on voters to focus on "substantial qualifications" in choosing the next president and vice president of the country.
"As important as the war against illegal drugs is, other compelling issues continue to challenge our country's ability to provide long-term safety and security for our people. Therefore, it is crucial in this electoral season that we focus on the substantial qualifications of those that seek to lead our country," Duterte-Carpio said.
Particularly, she said that "we examine our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates under the lens of competence and experience — an infallible ability to manage crisis through policy and practice built up through years of executive, legislative, and administrative exposure; a proven track record of delivering security and development; and a clear and tested platform for job security and sustainable livelihood."
She also called for unity "in choosing our next leaders who are honest and enough to realize our goals for an orderly, prosperous, and peaceful country."
A number of candidates have voluntarily taken drug tests in an apparent reaction to President Duterte's disclosure that a presidential candidate was hooked on cocaine.
The camp of Marcos Jr. has brushed aside Duterte's remarks.
Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson, along with his running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd, were the first to take a drug test. The results were negative.
Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao also released a negative result of a drug test he took in July, just before his fight with Yordenis Ugás in Las Vegas, and in September this year.
WITH CATHERINE VALENTE