June 1, 2023

Alongside their persistent unity message, presidential candidate and dictator’s namesake Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., with running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, promised continuity of the current administration’s programs in front of the Batangas crowd during the UniTeam grand rally at The Outlets in Lipa City, April 20.

“Ipagpapatuloy natin ang infrastructure development program ni Pangulong Duterte—ang kanyang Build, Build, Build [ay] palalawakin pa natin at isasama natin diyan ‘yung tinatawag na digital infrastructure, ‘yun pong internet natin,” Marcos Jr. said in his speech.

Besides this promise, Marcos Jr. also pointed out the importance of focusing on the agriculture sector, lowering energy prices, and preparing graduates by providing enough support for teachers and the education system. 

However, the presidential bet did not mention any specific details regarding the pledges. 

“Kailangan po natin ay lahat ng mga Pilipino, dahil ang Pilipino ay magaling, ang Pilipino ay masipag, ang Pilipino ay malaki ang kakayahan, malalim ang pagmamahal sa bansa, ‘yan po ang kailangan natin sa panahon na ito,” Marcos Jr. said. 

He also added, “Kaya’t pagkakaisa ang aming isinisigaw, kaya’t pagkakaisa ang aming adhikain, dahil po maliwanag na maliwanag na hindi maaaring matapos ang krisis na kinahaharap natin kung hindi tayo magkapit bisig bilang mga Pilipino.” 

Moreover, with the elections drawing near, Marcos Jr. expressed his optimism saying, “Kaunti na lang, basta’t walang iwanan ito hanggang sa dulo,” to supporters who continuously chanted, “Panalo ka na!” 

He also alluded his 2016 vice presidential loss against Vice President Leni Robredo, his main rival again in this year’s presidential race, after telling the crowd: “Sa Mayo 9, padadalhan ko kayo ng tone-tonelada na 3-in-1 [coffee] para walang tulugan hanggang [kinabukasan]. Alam naman natin maraming nangyayari kapag gabi.” 

In 2016, Marcos Jr. led in the early hours of vote counting, but Robredo took over the lead thereafter. Marcos Jr. also contested the election results before the Supreme Court, who later junked the case, 15-0.

 Meanwhile, senatorial candidates under the UniTeam senate slate, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, former presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque, suspended lawyer Larry Gadon, Atty. Gilbert Teodoro, former senators Gringo Honasan and Jinggoy Estrada, former DPWH secretary Mark Villar, Herbert Bautista, and actor Robin Padilla also attended the event.

Senator Win Gatchalian greets Batangas Governor Hermilando “DODO” Mandanas on the ‘UNITEAM’ stage. (T. Mongcal)

Also supporting the UniTeam candidates were Batangas Governor and reelectionist Hermilando Mandanas, Vice Gov. Mark Leviste, Lipa City mayoral candidate Meynard Sabili and Former Marinduque Rep. Regina Reyes-Mandanas.\

Former City Mayor and Lipa City mayoral candidate Meynard Sabili delivers his speech at the UNITEAM rally. (T. Mongcal)

Before the event, Marcos Jr. began his South-Luzon campaign trail in Mindoro while Duterte-Carpio met with medical frontliners at a vaccination center in Batangas City. 

This is Marcos Jr.’s fourth visit in Batangas, home to 1.8 million voters and the seventh-most vote-rich province in the country. 

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