Four political parties — the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino — forged on Thursday an alliance to support the presidential tandem of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte in the May 2022 national elections.
In what they called the “UniTeam Alliance Agreement,” the coalition vowed to support the candidacy of Marcos and Duterte for president and vice president, respectively, turning the BBM-Sara UniTeam into the most formidable tandem in next year’s polls.
The leaders of the four parties pledged to pursue good governance, reforms to reboot and rebound the economy, sustain the campaign to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, push for national unification and healing, and address other enormous problems facing the Philippines.
“Whereas, in view of the shared vision of the Convenor and Partners, all parties have agreed to forge this alliance that will pave the way for unity, strength and continued positive change for the country,” stated the coalition’s two-page agreement, which was signed by leaders of the parties in a ceremony held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay.
The agreement was signed by Lakas-CMD president and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, PFP president and South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., HNP president and Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista, and PMP president Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada.
Marcos, who graced the event held at Sofitel in the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, said the agreement was a necessary step to bring together different political forces for the 2022 elections.
He stressed that the merging of the most significant political parties signify unity that would heal and bring peace to a country that murky politics have long polarized.
“This is a very important step. This is the beginning of our consolidating of the political forces at least on this side. As we have been experiencing, it has been a very tumultuous campaign already, we are still six months away from the national election,” Marcos said in his speech during the signing.
“It is with these unifying steps that we hope to bring stability back, well first to the political arena, which now is in the middle of the decision-making process that our people will have to come to when May comes, the election comes,” he added.
“We have come together on the basis of unity. And it is these unifying forces that I believe will bring the stability back first to the political arena, and secondly, to the country,” Marcos said, assuring that the interest of the whole country was the driving force behind the alliance.
In a video message, Mayor Sara, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the alliance does not only show the parties’ firm aspirations for the country, “it also echoes loudly of our triumph to peacefully unite and stand side by side in the pursuit of continued development and positive change for our fellow Filipinos and the Philippines.”
“The UniTeam has done something remarkable in a time when political noise and bickering drown the issues and problems confronting the Filipino people — that is, to forge a partnership as one organization, setting aside political rivalries and differences, to become strong partners of the people and the nation. Our alliance is built on friendship, trust, and the commitment to serve the Filipinos and the country,” she stressed.
Duterte said that as the coalition’s vice-presidential bet, she is proud of the agreement that powerfully illustrates leadership transcending throughout political colors.
Marcos is the standard-bearer of PFP, while Mayor Sara is the vice-presidential bet of Lakas-CMD and HNP where she is the chairperson.
For his part, Romualdez said the UniTeam Alliance was just the beginning as they “dream of a grand coalition of national and regional parties with local alliances that share our vision of a better future for this generation and the next.”
Lakas-CMD, which passed a resolution adopting Marcos as their presidential candidate, expressed confidence that the alliance would signal other parties to join and support the BBM-Sara UniTeam.
The BBM-SARA Uniteam has consistently led in recent survey results ahead of the other contenders for the two top posts.
The agreement also provides that “all partners shall be allowed to field one senatorial candidate in the lineup.”