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BBM camp extends hand of reconciliation

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
BBM camp extends hand of reconciliation
Supporters of Bongbong Marcos, the presumptive president-elect, celebrate outside his campaign headquarters after his landslide presidential election victory, in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, on May 11, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is extending the hand of reconciliation to rivals and critics and called for cooperation for the success of his incoming administration.

“For those who are protesting, please stop pushing for your agenda for hostility among Filipinos. We are not enemies,” Marcos’ spokesman Vic Rodriguez said yesterday in a television interview.

Rodriguez did not specify which camps he was referring to, but supporters of defeated candidate and outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo have been staging protests against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over what they insinuated to be cheating in the elections.

Robredo had also publicly said they would tap independent experts to validate the results of the polls following reports of malfunctions of vote counting machines during the conduct of the
 elections.

But poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting already dismissed insinuations of fraud and vouched for the accuracy of election results through its manual audit.

Rodriguez also revealed that they are willing to talk to the camps of Robredo and other candidates despite their differences in political beliefs.

He explained that Marcos had already voiced his willingness to consider other personalities with different political beliefs to work under his administration.

“We are willing to talk to other camps regardless of their political color, race, or belief. President-elect Bongbong Marcos already said that and, I will say again, while we were under expressed guidance from him not to look beyond May 9, yesterday was totally different,” he said in another television interview.

Rodriguez gave assurance that Marcos’ administration would be inclusive “regardless of your political race, color, or belief.”

“I take this opportunity to invite all Filipinos. For as long as you love our country, you acknowledge our flag, your respect our Constitution, join, listen to, and give a chance to our message and appeal for unity,” he said.

“Let us support our newly elected leaders, from the president down to the most basic unit, our municipal councilors.”

Rodriguez bared that supporters of Marcos and his running mate, presumptive vice president Sara Duterte would hold a joint thanksgiving gathering that would be open even to groups and personalities that did not support them during the elections.

“The election is over, the great majority of the Filipino people have already spoken. President-elect Bongbong Marcos is the president of each and every Filipino,” he pointed out.

Asked for his comment on the refusal of the camp of Robredo to concede despite the wide lead of Marcos in quick counts and the recognition of his poll victory by some foreign governments including the United States, Rodriguez said concession should be voluntary.

“You do not impose concession. That should not be asked because that should be voluntary on the part of those who want to concede,” he pointed out.

The other presidential candidates – Senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno have all already conceded defeat.

President Duterte has also appealed to Filipinos to rally behind the country’s next leaders.

“By noon of June 30, I invite the public to join me in running behind our new elected leaders so we can continue the difficult but rewarding task of building a stronger and more progressive nation,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired on Thursday.

Duterte also called on the new elected officials to earnestly serve the Filipino people and prioritize public welfare above everything.

“I am hopeful that you will serve the Filipino people with all your heart and ability, and prioritize the welfare of the general public above everything,” the President said.

He also thanked defeated candidates as he urged them to continue “to serve our people in your capacity as leaders in your respective sectors and communities.”

During his Talk to the People held in his hometown Davao City on Wednesday, the President congratulated in advance the candidates leading in the polls.

The President signed Administrative Order No. 47 on May 10, creating a committee to ensure proper and orderly transition to the next administration. – Helen Flores

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