MANILA, Philippines - Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. welcomed yesterday the pronouncement of Liberal Party presidential bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III that he will create a group to study options for the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
“That’s a good development. We have long said that it is the right of my father to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he was a former soldier and President of the Philippines for 20 years,” Marcos told reporters during the mass oath-taking of new Nacionalista Party (NP) leaders presided over by Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. at Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
The Ilocos governor said it should not be used as an election issue but he welcomes Aquino’s announcement. “That’s not an election issue. Maybe because he went to Ilocandia and he was asked about it. That’s a good development and we welcome it,” Marcos said.
He also reiterated that as the son of the late president, he should not be sidelined as part of KBL. He said he merely accepted an offer of the NP without any concessions.
“Ferdinand Marcos Jr. could probably carry KBL,” he said in Filipino, reacting to the statement of Vicente Millora, who claims to be KBL chairman, that the late president’s namesake and only son cannot bring the KBL into Villar’s NP because he had resigned from the party since 1987.
Reacting to the resistance of left-leaning groups led by Rep. Satur Ocampo, Marcos said everybody should just look into what Villar has declared that all of them should not allow diversity in the fight against poverty.
“Otherwise, we cannot move forward if we keep on looking at issues that divide us,” he said in Filipino.
Marcos added that he does not see any problem seeing Ocampo and his colleague Rep. Liza Maza on the same slate at the NP.
Who’s afraid of the Left?
Meanwhile, Sen. Loren Legarda expressed hope that the Makabayan coalition of left-leaning groups led by Bayan Muna and Gabriela will still support her and Senator Villar’s bid to seek higher office next year despite political differences with Bongbong.
“We share similar platform which is pro-masses and pro-country. My relationship with them goes through decades,” Legarda said in an interview.
Villar also expressed hope that the cause-oriented groups will maintain their support for him and the party.
Bayan, Gabriela and Anakpawis and the other groups under the Makabayan coalition are reportedly eyeing alliances with the NP. They already have a tentative schedule of the pledging of support from the progressive groups on Monday next week.
“They know this. I hope everything will be threshed out soon. What we are fighting here is the fight against poverty. We should work, and not allow certain differences to divide us because we are still starting,” Villar said.