Public frustration to fuel protest vote – Bongbong
Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The people’s frustration with the Aquino administration will be translated into votes for the opposition in the May elections, according to vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“It will increase the numbers of the protest vote. Many assert that this government is not helping them, does not think of the welfare of the retirees and those who fought for this country,” Marcos said during a roundtable discussion at The STAR yesterday.

He said the negative publicity would have an adverse impact on the presidential bid of administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

“That kind of thinking, they will say, ‘wag na natin suportahan lahat ng ito dahil ayaw nilang tumulong sa mga matanda at kawawa’ (let’s not support all of them because they don’t want to help the poor and downtrodden).”

The 58-year-old son of the former president will kick-off the campaign today with his running mate, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, at his hometown in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Tomorrow, he will campaign in Vigan and around Ilocos Sur, La Union on Thursday and Pangsasinan from Friday to Saturday. 

Marcos said the “protest votes” of the people have been reflected in the showing of the presidential candidates – Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte – in surveys.

“It will be to the opposition in general. Maraming identified as protest vote. Duterte is clearly a protest vote. Grace Poe too. The Binay vote is the political mainstream. Miriam is different, it’s not a protest vote, but a class of its own,” he said.

Marcos discussed the negative impact of President Aquino’s veto of a measure increasing the pension of members of the Social Security System, the stalling of the Salary Standardization Law and the lack of inclusive growth where people do not feel the economic growth being touted by the administration.

“Mar will really be hit by that. There is just no way around that conclusion,” he said.

Last week, Roxas admitted his biggest rival is the frustration of people despite the good performance of the administration.

Birthday wish for Noy

While they don’t see eye to eye on almost any issue, Marcos still has good wishes for President Aquino, who celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday.

He said he hoped the President would find himself a partner.

“It’s not good to be alone at a certain age. That’s very depressing. I hope he finds himself somebody who could be with him and keep him company,” said Marcos, who is two years older than Aquino.

Marcos said he had lived alone for most of his life and knew what it is like to have no one to share his thoughts and experiences with.

The issue of being a bachelor has been hounding Aquino during his entire term, primarily because of his age.

‘History will judge us’

Marcos parried insinuations that he is using the vice presidency as a springboard to the presidency in a bid to clear their family’s name soiled by the excesses of his father’s long-term martial rule.

He said he was not out to clear his father’s name and he is ready to apologize – but only if he offended anybody. 

Any acknowledgement, apology or closure is not for him to give, Marcos said, stressing history will judge their family.

He said he could serve the people better as an “executive,” noting his being governor for several years in Ilocos Norte. 

His stint as two-term congressman and one-term senator, he said, was interesting but not enough for him to better help the Filipinos.

“And for these elections, my best opportunity to return to the executive at the national level is to be vice president.” 

No substitute for victory 

Marcos was to quick to entertain options if he loses his vice presidential bid, saying “there is no substitute for victory.”

“I think on how will I win. I don’t think what would I do if I lose. I think how do I win. Even if it’s not going well, you just keep going,” Marcos added.

Marcos is closing in on Sen. Francis Escudero, who has been topping surveys. 

When asked how he would beat Escudero, who got him as a godfather in his first marriage, Marcos said he is just focused on winning.

Saying unity is the key to address the country’s many problems, Marcos said he would be able to work with whoever would become president, if he wins his own bid for the vice presidency in the May elections.

If elected, Marcos said the first thing he would do is to report to the president and ask how he could help.

He said the country’s politics in the past years appeared to be divisive rather than inclusive.

“We have decided to go down the road where politics determines who are partners and who are not, which I believe is a mistake. The problems are so vast and complex that it requires everybody to help.”

“I want to avoid the crab mentality-type of politics. Instead of trying to achieve, you try to put other people down. You get stagnant. It’s not really a good policy, and I don’t subscribe to it,” he said.

Marcos has been critical of the administration for fostering the culture of divisiveness instead of unity for the common good.

 

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