LP mayors in La Union to vote for Bongbong Marcos – Ortega
LA UNION, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr appeared to be succeeding in consolidating the so-called Solid North vote, as administration mayors in La Union are throwing their support behind him, said San Fernando Mayor Pablo Ortega.
The local chief executive of the province’s capital city told Rappler that he and the Ortega clan, who are mostly under the Liberal Party (LP), will be voting for Marcos and not ruling party bet Leni Robredo. The same goes for other administration mayors in the province.
“Most of us (Ortega clan) are in LP. All mayors in the district belong to LP. But all of us are for Bongbong Marcos [for vice president],” Mayor Ortega said during Marcos’ visit in La Union on Thursday, February 11.
He clarified, however: “[But] for president, most of the mayors are Liberal, so they are for Mar Roxas.”
On his 3rd day of campaign, Marcos toured La Union with Ortega brothers Pablo, Pepe, and Mario. The Ortega family has ruled La Union for a century, making them the longest enduring political clan in the country.
The Ortegas are the second influential family in the Ilocos Region who endorsed Marcos’ bid. Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson earlier endorsed the incumbent senator to his constituents in Ilocos Sur and in the nearby Abra province.
Winning in La Union?
Like in Ilocos Norte, Ilocanos in La Union welcomed the Marcos scion warmly. Supporters and well-wishers greeted the candidate’s mobile as it passed through several municipalities in the province: San Fernando, San Juan, Naguillan, Bauang, Agoo, Caba, and Rosario.
“Masaya kami. Marcos pa rin ako. Mahal namin siya magmula nung maliit, saka 'yung tatay niya. 'Tinago ko itong picture ng tatay niya umuulan o bumabagyo,” 76-year-old Rosita Urdinante excitedly told Rappler. (We are happy. I am still for Marcos. We loved him ever since he was a child and also his father. I even kept this picture of his father.)
Staunch supporter Norma Pimentel, although not very familiar with the senator’s accomplishments, said she loves Marcos because he is an Ilocano. “Solid North po! Solid North! Basta Ilocano, Solid North!” she squealed.
68-year-old Bernard Gatchalian, meanwhile, defended Marcos from criticisms of human rights violations that his father was widely believed to have committed during martial law.
“Kasi 'yung ama niya wala namang ginawang masama eh, paratang lang po sa kanya 'yan. Wala akong nakitang ginawang masama si Ferdinand Marcos,” he said. (Because his father did not do anything bad. Those were only allegations. I can't see anything wrong that Ferdinand Marcos did.)
Asked if they would want a return of the Marcoses in Malacañang, he answered: “Opo, gusto namin.” (Yes, we want that.)
La Union has a total voting population of 454, 778, based on the Commission on Elections’ latest count. According to Marcos, the province contributed the most votes during his 2010 senatorial bid, second to – or even at par with – Ilocos Norte.
Miriam Santiago out?
Despite the strong reception by Ilocanos, Marcos’ standard-bearer Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has seemingly been left out in his campaign activities. It led reporters to ask him, “How about Miriam?”
Marcos responded, “Nandito naman ako na p'wedeng kumampanya.” (I am here to campaign for her.)
“Ang naging role ko sa kampanya namin ay talagang puntahan ang ating mga kaibigan dahil my background is local government.” (My role in our campaign is to really go to places and talk to our friends [in the local areas] because my background is local government.)
“Siya naman, ang kanyang balwarte ay kabataan, kaya’t pupuntahan naman niya ay mga eskwelahan,” he added. (For Senator Santiago, her strength is with the youth, so she will go to schools.)
He also explained that it is natural for campaign tandems to go on their separate ways to cover as many places as possible. – Rappler.com
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