MANILA — With the vice presidential race running close, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sought Divine intervention and heard Sunday Mass with his family at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran.
According to the invitation of Marcos’ campaign organizers, the 12:30 p.m. Mass at the Baclaran Church was offered for “katotohanan at integridad ng halalan (truth and the integrity of the elections).”
But Marcos, along with his eldest son Sandro and his wife Louise, gave no indication that it was more than an ordinary Sunday Mass. Also present at the church were former first lady and Ilocos Norte 2nd district Rep. Imelda Marcos and her nephew, Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez.
The Marcoses, particularly the matriarch Imelda, have frequently heard Mass at the church.
As soon as Marcos and his family got off their car, churchgoers started crowding and clicking away on their mobile phones, taking pictures of the Marcoses.
Even inside the church, people started chanting, “Marcos” and “BBM,” and had to be asked to stay quiet during the service celebrated by Fr. Ben Baoninang.
At the part of the Mass where churchgoers had to wish each other peace, Marcos rose from his seat and raised his hands with peace signs in greeting other churchgoers before approaching his mother, who was seated on a pew across from him.
Sandro and Louise embraced the former first lady before returning to their seats next to the senator.
Churchgoers, who apparently support Marcos’ vice presidential bid, waited for the Eucharist and took the opportunity to take pictures of the family.
The service wasn’t even over when people started crowding near the Marcoses’ pews. The crowd had to be held back by security personnel so the Marcoses could leave the church and board their vehicles.
As of this posting, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo led the partial and unofficial count at the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting by over 200,000 votes, ahead of Marcos. SFM/rga