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‘GMA country’ vows victory for BBM-Sara

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines — The bailiwick of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has vowed victory for the presidential tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the May 9 polls.

Arroyo, along with another of Pampanga’s influential clans led by Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda, endorsed the BBM-Sara UniTeam before a mammoth crowd on Robinsons Starmills grounds, Barangay San Jose, here.

“My beloved cabalens, kapampangan and friends, on behalf of Gov. Delta Pineda, Vice Gov. Nanay Baby Pineda, the four congressmen of Pampanga and 20 mayors of Pampanga, here is the next president of the Philippines,” she said in introducing Marcos.

By local organizers’ estimate, 250,000 people came out for the grand rally.

Arroyo is the chair emeritus of the once-ruling party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), which is now re-emerging under the chairmanship of Duterte-Carpio.

Marcos expressed deep gratitude to Arroyo, the Pinedas and their supporters in the province, which is known as “GMA country” and has 1.58 million registered voters.

“Thank you very much Pampanga for your very warm welcome to the UniTeam and the Marcos-Duterte tandem. We’re in this together and no one will be left behind,” he told the crowd.

Earlier, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla and Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez also vowed to give Marcos and Duterte-Carpio a landslide victory.

Once again, the former senator called for unity and vowed to continue the plans and projects of the Duterte administration, including the fight against criminality and the Build Build Build program which has generated over 6.5 million jobs.

He also urged voters in the province to be vigilant and guard their votes.

“We all should probably not sleep because we all know that many things happen while we are asleep. That’s why I will look for tons of coffee and send to you here so you won’t sleep,” he said in jest.

He earlier expressed alarm over the reported security breach of the automated election system of Smartmatic.

“I’m worried when we talked about the security breach that the statements of Comelec are changing.

“At first, they said there was no breach, then they said somebody brought home a computer, then it turns out there was really a security breach but that information was not important. And then, the information apparently came out in the dark web. So, these are things I worry about,” Marcos said.

For her part, Duterte-Carpio expressed confidence in winning the elections because of the overwhelming support for their tandem, which is campaigning on a national unity platform.

“Thank you! I love you all! Let’s all love the Philippines! Since the Kapampangans said that the Bisaya will win, I am confident that I will win,” she said.

The Davao City mayor also called on their supporters to work with them for their plans and programs to succeed.

“First, let us bring back jobs and businesses that were lost due to the pandemic. We have vaccines, face masks and Molnupiravir, so there should be no lockdowns anymore,” she stressed.

UniTeam senatorial candidates who joined the grand rally were reelectionist Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, actor Robin Padilla, former information and communications technology secretary Gringo Honasan, former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista and lawyer Larry Gadon.

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO

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