Marcos shrugs off Alvarez's endorsement, confident crowd connects with 'unity' campaign

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Marcos shrugs off Alvarez's endorsement, confident crowd connects with 'unity' campaign
Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos greets a crowd of supporters in Quezon province on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 where Marcos lost to Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 elections.
Philstar.com / EC Toledo

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines — UniTeam presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. does not mind that one key political figure here in Davao has declared support for his rival, Vice President Leni Robredo.

Again hammering on his unity campaign, Marcos said voters in Davao del Norte understand their message, and that is what counts.

“The crowd understands the message very well, that’s the most important thing,”  he told reporters in an ambush interview after their grand rally in the town of Carmen on Wednesday morning.

The event started past 7:00 a.m., and as the event wore on, the crowd started filling the area, with some hanging on railings and sitting atop of gates just to get a glimpse of UniTeam candidates.

The grand rally in Carmen, Davao del Norte is the first of the three big events which the campaign team has set for Wednesday to woo voters in the Davao region.

When he finally went on stage, Marcos recalled that he had been in Carmen many times before. Referring to former Rep. Anton Lagdameo (Davao de Oro) —a known close friend of the presidential aspirant — Marcos said he had worked with him on “many projects.”

He then went on to the staple part of his campaign speech on how their call for unity resonates with the localities they visit in their campaign.

But just days before they barnstormed Davao region, bailiwick of his running-mate Sara Duterte, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao del Norte) raised Robredo’s hand in an event to seal his endorsement.

The lawmaker apologized to Robredo and admitted he is the ideal candidate who aligns with the values of Partido Reporma. Alvarez added this was his way of continuing to fight with Martial Law.

Alvarez, who was a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, also sits as president of Partido Reporma who previously fielded Sen. Panfilo Lacson as their presidential bet.

But on March 24, Lacson said he is resigning from the party and will just run as an independent candidate instead.

‘We love BBM’

Hugpong ng Pagbabago Secretary General Anthony Del Rosario, former governor of Davao del Norte, also said Alvarez’s endorsement of Robredo did not cause a dent in their campaign for Marcos.

“I don’t think anything will change. BBM will still win as president, there is no difference there,” he said partly in Filipino in a separate chance interview.

But just miles from Davao, a group of local officials on March 21, also launched a different tandem with Sara Duterte. In Cagayan de Oro, Reps. Joey Salceda (Albay) and Rufus Rodrigurez (Cagayan de Oro) launched “ROSA 2022.”

The group said they believe a Robredo-Duterte tandem is best to lead the Philippines during a crisis.

But Del Rosario just dismissed this movement.

“Basta kami, BBM-Sara kami, whatever happens BBM-Sara kami, hangang matapos ‘yung eleksyon BBM-Sara kami,” he said.

UniTeam bets are set to hold a grand rally in Digos, Davao del Sur on Wednesday night to cap off their Davao region campaign leg. 




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