The Manila Times : Nacionalista party backs BBM, Sara

30 March 2022

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

(UPDATE) THE Nacionalista Party (NP) led by former Senate president Manuel "Manny" Villar on Tuesday endorsed the tandem of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Villar, president of the NP, said that Marcos and Duterte-Carpio "both have the platforms of government, qualifications and track record to lead our country toward unity and prosperity."

"For the May 2022 elections, the Nacionalista Party fully supports the candidacies of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for president and Inday Sara Duterte for vice president," Villar said in a statement.

"We believe that Bongbong and Inday's message of unity is crucial in binding our country together and inspiring our people as we rebuild not only from the pandemic but also from the political chasm that divides us," he added.

Victor Rodriguez, spokesman for Marcos, thanked the officers and members of the NP for their "unequivocal support and endorsement" of the tandem.

"The NP endorsement will surely serve as another insurance to the bandwagon of support for the UniTeam from political parties which comes at a time when a clear 61 percent majority of our people have again made known their preference for Bongbong Marcos to be our next president founded on an equally high 53 percent trust rating for him," Rodriguez said in a statement.

"Indeed, unity is what will hold our country together as we look ahead into the future of making us, Filipinos, world class citizens with nation building as our ultimate collective goal," he added.

The NP, the oldest political party in the Philippines, did not field its own candidate in the 2022 presidential race.

Villar's son, former Public Works secretary Mark Villar, is running for senator under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

Marcos, a former NP member, is vying for the presidency under Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

The NP is the party that was represented by Bongbong's father, the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., when he won the presidency in 1965.

Villar's party previously declared it was renewing its alliance with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago headed by Duterte-Carpio, who is running under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.

The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan under the faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier also endorsed the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

The Reform Party and the National Unity Party have also recently endorsed the UniTeam candidates.

The tandem of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio, dubbed as the UniTeam, has consistently led pre-election surveys for their respective positions.

As part of its Covid-19 pandemic recovery plan, the UniTeam pledged to revive the agriculture sector and continue President Duterte's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program to generate jobs and jumpstart the economy.