The Manila Times : 'Landslide victory for Marcos, Sara'

4 February 2022

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

TOP local executives of Southern Leyte on Thursday vowed a landslide victory for vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her running mate, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in the 2022 local and national elections.

Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, barnstormed the Visayas on the third day of her "Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas" motorcycle caravan, visiting Southern Leyte, which is considered as "Duterte country" or bailiwick.

Southern Leyte Gov. Damian Mercado said the province is considering the mayor as one of their own.

"Sara is also from Southern Leyte because we know that President Digong was born in [Maasin City] Southern Leyte and stayed in Southern Leyte, that's why we feel Sara is our kababayan (province mate) also," Mercado added.

"Of course, kami dito sa probinsya (we, here in the province), we are supporting Sara and the UniTeam, including BBM (Bongbong Marcos)," he said.

Southern Leyte Vice Gov. Christoperson Yap said at least 18 mayors from the province have declared full support for Duterte-Carpio and Marcos in the May 9 elections.

Yap further spoke of the Duterte family's roots in the province, which have been prominent for over a century.

"Very historical ang pagdating ni Mayor Sara dito sa (is the arrival of the mayor in) Liloan. Iyong stop niya dito (Her stop here) will bring back memories of her family from the Roa side. Mayor Eleno Roa was the mayor [from] 1911 to 1912 here in Liloan, Southern Leyte," he said.

"Local leaders [are here] and the people of Southern Leyte because their (Dutertes') roots are from here, from our place. Yes [this is Duterte country]. Technically from Maasin [City], the Roa side, and here (Liloan) also the Roa side of the family, their roots are from here in Liloan and Panaon Island," Yap added.

Mercado and Yap are members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which President Duterte heads.

Duterte-Carpio was the most appreciative of the local chief executives, with open and unanimous support for the BBM-Sara tandem.

In a short speech, she thanked the officials led by Mercado and Yap, as well as the local residents for their warmest welcome.

The mayor echoed the importance of patriotism and love of country throughout the caravan.

She installed a Philippine flag at the location before going to her second main stopover.

One of the local chief executives, Maasin City Mayor Nacional "Nikko" Mercado, said Southern Leyte will deliver a "landslide win" for BBM-Sara.

"Southern Leyte province and the city of Maasin fully support the vice presidential bid of Mayor Inday Sara and this (Thursday) morning together with Gov. Damian Mercado, Vice Gov. Christoperson Yap, 18 mayors from [17] municipalities and one city, we are one and we are here to fully support the UniTeam BBM-Sara," Mayor Mercado added.

"As I stated, we fully support the bid of presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and Vice President Inday Sara together with all their senatorial line-up. We are solid and we are behind [them] and we will campaign because we fully understand that they are here to help us, especially that President Duterte was born in Maasin City. We can't turn our backs on the Dutertes," he said.

Southern Leyte roughly has 350,000 to 400,000 registered voters, with Maasin accounting for 58,800 of the figure.