Thousands of Ilonggos braved the sweltering heat in Iloilo City today to wait for the arrival of vice presidential candidate, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. and pledge their support to his candidacy as his “Unity Caravan” began its sortie in Western Visayas.
Marcos was met by an estimated 5,000 volunteers and supporters, cheering, screaming or waving flags and campaign banners as he entered the jam-packed Jaro Plaza Gymnasium shortly before noon.
Marcos thanked his supporters, noting they remained in the gym despite the brown out that unexpectedly hit the gym starting a few hours before his arrival.
“I’m sorry that you had to wait in this heat. I don’t understand why we suddenly have this brown out here. We really need to do more to ensure we won’t have brown outs, particularly when your candidate arrives here,” said Marcos.
“But the effect of this brown out is that your welcome became a lot warmer,” he added.
Organizers said the brown out only affected the gym but BBM volunteers chose to stay on despite the heat just to hear the senator speak.
However, Marcos refused to comment on speculations the brown out may be a deliberate ploy to sabotage his campaign in the province. While Iloilo is the home province of Marcos’ presidential running mate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, it is considered to be largely a bailiwick of the ruling Liberal Party.
Marcos led his supporters in a formal oath-taking where they vowed to abide the laws and help in civic programs of their organization, among others.
“Further, I voluntary pledge to support the candidacy of Bongbong Marcos, as vice president of the Philippines,” the volunteers said in their oath.
Shortly before this, Marcos also inaugurated the Compact Team BBM Volunteer Center in Jaro, Iloilo City.
“I am here to campaign and I am here to get as much support as I can from Region VI. And I’m sure that once my message has been heard, more people will join us, similar to what is happening all over the country,” said Marcos.
The latest survey of the Social Weather Stations showed Marcos taking the solo lead in the vice presidential race. He said this supports his belief that people are receptive to his call for national unity.