By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
La Union Gov. Emmanuel "Pacoy" Ortega 3rd on Friday joined other local officials from the Solid North in declaring their support for the tandem of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the upcoming national elections.
Ortega, a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), declared his support for the UniTeam candidates during Duterte-Carpio's courtesy call at the provincial capitol in San Fernando, La Union on Friday.
"I am endorsing the candidacy of Mayor Sara for vice president. I believe in her capacity; siya ay meyor ng Davao City (she's a mayor of Davao City) for a long time," Ortega said during a chance interview.
"Naipakita niya ang kanyang (She has shown her) skills and capacity as an administrator, and I believe she can expand her horizon hindi lang sa Davao kundi sa buong bansa (not just in Davao but also in the entire country)," he added.
Ortega said it goes without saying that Marcos is loved by Ilocanos.
"Kaming mga Ilokano (We, Ilocanos), our affinity with fellow Ilocanos is innate. Marami na akong nakausap dito sa amin, ang feeling ko landslide win ang BBM-Sara dito sa La Union (I had talked to many residents here, and I feel that it will be a landslide win for BBM-Sara here in La Union)," he said.
Aside from the governor, La Union First District Rep. Pablo Ortega, Board Member Paolo Ortega and San Juan Vice Mayor Mannix Ortega, who are all members of the NPC, also met Duterte-Carpio to express their support for the tandem.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio came from nearby Ilocos Sur on Thursday, where local officials led by Narvacan Mayor Luis "Chavit" Singson and Gov. Ryan Luis Singson also expressed their all-out support for them.
On Thursday, Mayor Singson vowed to deliver more than 90 percent of the total votes of Ilocos Sur to the Marcos-Duterte-Carpio tandem in the upcoming polls.
Mayor Singson, former Ilocos Sur governor and president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, said residents from all the towns of the province will vote for Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.
He also assured the alliance of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio an "all-out support," including resources.
"Lahat, lahat ng bayan boboto sa BBM-Sara. Siguro tantiya ko more than 90 percent of votes ang mai-deliver dahil nagkaisa na ang lahat ng mga opisyales (All the towns here will vote for BBM-Sara. I estimate that more than 90 percent of votes will be for them because all officials here are united on that)," Singson told reporters during a chance interview after the grand rally at the Quirino Stadium Thursday afternoon.
"Hindi lang 'yan, ang nauna ay 'yung mga volunteer sumunod na lang ang karamihan ng mga elected official, 'di lang dito, sa buong bansa. Umikot na ako being the president of the League of Mayors of the Philippines. Ganun lahat, mga volunteer ang nangunguna, sumusunod na lang 'yung mga elected official (Not only that, the volunteers were the first to pledge their support, and most of our elected officials have followed, not just here but across the country. I have gone around the country as the president of the League of Mayors of the Philippines. That's what's happening — volunteers ensure their support and are followed by officials)," he added.
The Ilocos Sur leaders' commitment followed similar declarations made by Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc and mayors of the province on Wednesday and local executives in Cagayan Valley, including Governors Rodolfo "Rodito" Albano 3rd of Isabela and Manuel Mamba of Cagayan, on Tuesday and Monday, respectively.