La Union Governor Emmanuel Ortega lll on Friday joined local officials from the “Solid North” in rallying behind the tandem of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Ortega, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), declared his support for the UniTeam candidates during the latter’s courtesy call at the provincial capitol in San Fernando City, La Union.
Meanwhile, Mayor Luis Singson Sr. of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur said he is overwhelmed is by the “volunteer-driven” campaign of the tandem of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Marcos Jr. and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) vice presidential candidate Duterte.
Singson, Mayors League of the Philippines president, shared this to a crowd of supporters in Narvacan Thursday night as the BBM-Sara UniTeam carried out several campaign sorties in the province.
The UniTeam’s tenacity in pushing for platform-based discussions has paid off, resulting in a pre-election debate without the candidates’ usual free-for-all muckraking and name-calling Filipino voters have grown tired of for years, the Marcos camp said in a statement.
They said the presidential debate organized by Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) at the Okada Manila Hotel and Resorts on Tuesday “is seen by many as having the ideal format to encourage a free-flowing exchange of ideas among presidential candidates, giving voters a preview of their platforms and advocacies.”
The three-part debate lasted for four hours and featured presidential frontrunner Marcos Jr., former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody De Guzman, and former defense chief Norberto Gonzales.
“I am endorsing the candidacy of Mayor Sara for vice president. I believe in her capacity, siya ay mayor ng Davao City for a long time,” Ortega said.
“Naipakita niya ang kanyang skills and capacity as an administrator, and I believe she can expand her horizon hindi lang sa Davao kundi sa buong bansa,” he said.
Ortega said it goes without saying that Marcos is loved by Ilocanos.
“Kaming mga Ilokano, our affinity with fellow Ilocanos is innate,” Ortega said.
The Marcoses are from Ilocos Norte.
“Marami na akong nakausap dito sa amin, ang feeling ko landslide win ang BBM-Sara dito sa La Union,” Ortega said.
Marcos and Duterte came from nearby Ilocos Sur Thursday, where local officials led by Narvacan Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson and Gov. Ryan Luis Singson expressed their all-out support for them.
On hand to greet them in San Fernando City, aside from Ortega, were first district Rep. Pablo Ortega, Board Member Paolo Ortega, San Juan Vice Mayor Mannix Ortega, who all belong to the NPC, and other local officials. They are among NPC members supporting the BBM-Sara tandem.
On Friday morning, Duterte led the inauguration of the Basta Sara Group Headquarters at Vida Gas Building, National Highway, Brgy. Pagdalagan Norte here.
She will also spearhead the ribbon cutting of the Marcos Sara Duterte Alliance (MASADA) Headquarters at the MacArthur Highway, Bauang, La Union.
Earlier, Isabela Gov. Rodolfo Albano III, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba, Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, and Ryan Singson declared support for BBM-Sara.
The UniTeam candidates barnstormed the province, stopping in several towns and dialoguing briefly with local officials and residents.
The North Luzon visits are part of Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride (MNPR), a south-north journey launched by Duterte in Davao City early this month.
The journey aims to spread UniTeam’s message of patriotism, hope and unity.
Citing his municipality as an example, Singson said that everybody threw their support behind Marcos and Duterte. “Walang exception, sumama lahat,” he noted.
Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, the Narvacan mayor’s son, echoed the elder Singson’s sentiments and thanked the crowd for coming out even at nighttime to show their support for BBM-Sara UniTeam.
The governor then introduced Duterte as “his vice president and Ilocos Sur’s vice president” to much of the local folks’ delight.
For her part, Duterte, who chairs the Lakas-CMD, thanked the residents and local officials for their warm reception and stressed that unity was the driving force behind BBM-Sara UniTeam.
This developed as Mayor Sara got the full backing of the northern provinces, including La Union as she is tagged as their “lodi” (idol), said La Union 2nd district Rep. Sandra Eriguel, the Lakas-CMD provincial chairperson.
Eriguel’s statement came as the Davao City Mayor campaign trail led to La Union Friday.
Eriguel also said that it was an honor to be visited by Duterte who came all the way from the other side of the country. She added her team has been backing Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer and former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
She declared that her district would back the BBM-Sara UniTeam tandem “100 percent.”