Bongbong, Sara deny split, set more campaigns together

MARCOS-DUTERTE TANDEM. Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte meet their supporters in Tagum City in Davao in this file photo

By Claire Morales True

DAVAO CITY – The UniTeam tandem of presidential candidate, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., and vice presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, will be campaigning together more in the coming days.

Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez made the disclosure when asked on what would be next for the frontrunning UniTeam.

This as Marcos and Sara debunked claims that they are splitting or dropping each other. “No such thing,” Marcos said, adding that they only split to be able to cover more areas during the presidential campaign but are sticking together as a tandem.

“We will be unveiling the schedules for the month of March and you will be seeing actually more of the UniTeam campaign together,” said Romualdez, Duterte’s campaign manager.

He said seeing the two top poll aspirants together on stage always draws an “explosive” reaction from voters.

Marcos Jr. , meanwhile, said he will improve the transportation system in the Bicol Region and this will be one of his priority projects when he wins the upcoming May 9 elections.

“Madalas nating marinig noon ang salitang ‘Bicol Express’ patungkol sa mga tren na bumibyahe sa rehiyon. Sa paglipas ng panahon ay naging palasak na lang ang katagang ito na tumutukoy sa pangunahing sistema ng transportasyon na ngayon ay bilang isang masarap na pagkain ng mga Bicolano (We used to hear the word ‘Bicol Express’ in reference to trains traveling in the region. Over time this term has become commonplace referring to the main transportation system that is now as a delicacy of the Bicolanos,” Marcos said.

Marcos assured that he will bring back “Bicol Express” which is more organized and effective if he emerges victorious in the presidential race.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR), a government-owned company, was established in 1875 as the Ferrocaril de Manila-Dagupan and plied its initial route to Pangasinan.

 Mayor Sara, meanwhile, said she wants to focus on entrepreneurship, peacebuilding, and child protection if she is elected vice president of the country.

Duterte-Carpio said  that families and individuals need to learn how to build a business since income, even joint income of families is still lacking and insufficient to provide the needs of families.

Duterte-Carpio also said that she now feels pressure campaigning for herself in the national elections this coming May 2022.

“Ngayon may pressure talaga makipag-usap sa mga tao at tanungin sila kung ano yung mga maitulong ko sa kanila and tanungin sila kung paano ko makuha ang boto nila (There is pressure to talk to the people and ask them how I can help with their needs, and how I can secure their votes),” Duterte-Carpio said.

She added that she feels the pressure now compared to when she was only campaigning for senatorial bets under Hugpong ng Pagbabago party and other candidates supporting the Duterte administration during the previous elections.

Duterte-Carpio said that she respects the decision of her father and outgoing president  Rodrigo Duterte to not endorse her and her running mate presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, adding that she and the president are from different political parties.

“He is his own person… and he comes from a party that is different from the party of my running mate and my political party. I am from Lakas-CMD, he is from PDP-Laban, and Bongbong Marcos is from Partido Federal ng Pilipinas,” she said.

“Sa lahat ng pamilya kulang ang sweldo, even if it’s mother and father o dalawang guardians ang nagtatrabaho, kulang na kulang pa rin so kailangan talaga matuto ang mga tao mag negosyo (All families are lacking income, even the joint income of parents; so, people really need to learn how to build a business),” she said.

In addition, the mayor said she wants to address “how to predict and resolve conflict,” as well as to strengthen child protection but did not further elaborate her said platforms.

Aside from this, Duterte-Carpio said she wants to put up satellite offices of the Vice President in different regions in the country in order for her and her team to personally collaborate with the communities per area and address their needs once she wins the elections.

“Ang plano ko (My plan is to)… create a satellite office, tap that parallel groups willing to work for their country, and hop from one satellite office to another… it is easier for one person to move around than 13 regions to go to one office,” she said.