At least 11 mayors in Camarines Sur, a known bailiwick of Vice President Leni Robredo, have expressed support for the presidential bid of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during a private meeting in Makati City last Monday.
During the same meeting, the mayors urged Marcos to solve the decades-long insurgency problem in the province should he win the May 9 presidential elections.
The mayors at the meeting included Fermin Mabulo of San Fernando town; Migay Ibasco from Bula; Tom Bocago of Sipocot; Melanie Abarientos of Del Gallego; Weny Sabalbero of Cabusao; Nelson Legaspi of Canaman; Anthony Reyes from Milaor; Ed Severo of Calabanga; Chris Lizardo of Minalabac; Leonardo Agos of Gainza; and Boy Franco of Pamplona.
Meanwhile, Marcos’ running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, will take on an innovative on-the-road campaign show starting February 1 amid social gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 surge.
Dubbed “Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride,” Duterte shall campaign for her own vice presidential bid in the same way she pushed for Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s senatorial candidates in the 2019 elections—through motorbike rides.
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson, League of Municipalities of the Philippines president, disclosed that the meeting between Marcos and the mayors was held at the house of House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez in Makati.
Singson, who was also present at the event, revealed that the mayors committed to fully support Marcos’ presidential bid.
“The mayors were asked what Marcos could do to help them and their immediate response was to help them solve their problem with the insurgency or the NPA,” he said.
The mayors made the appeal as they expressed concern that the rebels will make use of the election period to sow fear on the public and extort money from politicians.
For his part, Marcos immediately assured them that he intends to fully support the National Task Force to End Local Communist (NTF-ELCAC) to bring an end to the country’s insurgency problem.
He also bared plans to allocate additional funds to the agency to enable it to carry out its mandate properly.
The mayors also raised the infrastructure problems in their provinces and sought Maarcos’ support in rehabilitating bridges and roads in their areas.
In a statement, Duterte said the program aims to foster nationalism among Filipinos and communities by bringing to the road the ‘Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas’ campaign.
“Remind the people that caring for our communities or families and neighbors is showing our love for our country,” she added.
The “Mahalin Natin ang Pilipinas Ride”, Mayor Sara said, is another platform for her to extend her message of nationalism to Filipinos as her same mantra goes.
She added that she opted for the bike-ride campaign to safely visit other places with lesser risk of contracting the virus.
“Kasi sa bike ride, it will just be touch and go by the roadside, walang mass gathering, walang Covid-19 risk,” she said. “We can expect more people to campaign for patriotism and hopefully lead to mapayapang pamumuhay.”
The show, which will kick off on Feb. 1, 2022, will run for 15 minutes and feature the mayor’s ride experience, and the people she will meet. It can be viewed on her YouTube channel and Facebook page.
For the whole month of February, Mayor Sara will tour the country with Bislig City in Surigao del Sur as the first stopover.