By Rainier Allan Ronda | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — Actors and artists under the Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Prosperity Movement (FPJPM) and LGBTQ+ cause-oriented group United Beki of the Philippines (UBP) declared their support for the Unity tandem of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and running-mate, vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
The groups, at a joint press conference yesterday in Quezon City, vowed to gather up to three million votes among their combined memberships for the Marcos-Duterte candidacies in the May 9 polls.
Joseph Cadsawan, chairman of the FPJPM, said they were supporting the UniTeam tandem of Marcos and Duterte, as they held the belief that the country needed leaders who can “restore decency, vibrancy and sanity in national governance.”
FPJPM was the advocacy group mostly made up of actors and workers in the movie industry that had garnered three million signatures to convince movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) to launch his candidacy in 2004.
Cadsawan expressed confidence that his group could again muster an effort for Marcos and Duterte in the coming elections.
“We expect BBM to replicate FPJ’s feat in an environment of fair, honest and clean contest,” the FPJPM leader said.
He said the younger Marcos “is no stranger to the rigors, challenges, and constant pressures that go with being the president, having lived in Malacañang for 21 years that spanned his father’s rule.”
Meanwhile, the UBP, organized in 2015 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said they believed that Marcos and Duterte could genuinely push not only their group’s advocacies but national solidarity and progress as well.
The UBP also expressed support to the Unity Team senatorial slate which includes reelectionist senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Miguel Zubiri; former senator and losing vice presidential running mate to FPJ in 2004, Loren Legarda; former defense secretary Gibo Teodoro, former senator Gregorio Honasan and lawyer Larry Gadon who are all in the UniTeam senatorial slate, and former senator JV Ejercito who is eyeing a comeback.
Marcos gave assurance on Thursday that local government units (LGUs) will have a strong voice in their administration if he wins the presidency.
Speaking before mayors, vice mayors and councilors of Zambales, Marcos said he and his running mate Duterte will be the champions of LGUs because the UniTeam strongly believes and trusts local leaders.
“I assure you that you will have a voice in the UniTeam administration. Local government will have a strong voice. The UniTeam will be the champion of local government once we get the luck to win in the coming election,” Marcos said.
Marcos said that having served as local executives themselves, he and Inday Sara both believe that local leaders are the authority when it comes to knowing the real situation in their jurisdictions, and hence could be relied on to come up with solutions for problems in their areas.
“Like what I have been saying, we must level the relations of the local government and national government. I always tell the congressmen, the senators, listen to local government officials,” he added.
He also gave assurance that they will see to it that the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling, which will inject more funds to LGUs, will be done properly so that local government will not wind up at the losing end.
Tawi-Tawi for UniTeam
The provincial leadership of Tawi-Tawi has recently declared its full support for the UniTeam.
The leaders, who belong to Tawi-Tawi One Party (TOP) led by Tawi-Tawi Gov. Yshmael Sali, made the declaration at the UniTeam national headquarters in Mandaluyong City during their recent visit. – Jose Rodel Clapano