‘Beautiful coincidence’: Bongbong, Sara meet in Cebu | Inquirer News
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'Meet-and-Greet' on Major Electoral Battleground

‘Beautiful coincidence’: Bongbong, Sara meet in Cebu

Sara Duterte and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have a chat at the house of Tingog Sinirangan

‘HAPPY OCCASION’ Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have a chat at the
house of Tingog Sinirangan Rep. Yedda Romualdez in Maria Luisa Subdivision, Barangay Banilad, Cebu City. They were among
the guests at the birthday of Romualdez, wife of his cousin, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez. —PHOTO COURTESY OF BBM 2022-CEBU

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — The “beautiful coincidence’’ sent speculations flying.

What was described as a mere meet-and-greet between Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. only fueled talk that something more is afoot in the current configuration of presidential contenders in the May 2022 elections.

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Duterte and Marcos met here on Saturday at the home of one of his cousins.

Duterte herself posted on Facebook: “It’s confirmed that I just met Presidential aspirant and former Senator BBM (Bongbong Marcos) at the happy occasion of the birthday of Congresswoman Yedda, wife of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, in Cebu.”

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The post coming from the President’s daughter was accompanied by several photos of her together with Marcos.

Recent surveys on so-called presidentiables have shown both of them landing at the top spots, although between them only Marcos has filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

Hours before her encounter with the son and namesake of the late dictator, Duterte also had a meet-and-greet with his sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, and posted photos of their time together with the caption “Manang Imee, how are you? Many thanks for the visit and support always.”

Stumping

Duterte, who disclosed earlier this month that she tested positive for COVID-19, arrived around 4 p.m. on Saturday at Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.

Wearing a green, hooded sweatshirt with the inscription “Sara All 2022,” she led a motorcade to Cebu City where Marcos had arrived much earlier, at around 8 a.m.

Marcos also went stumping in the city, where he opened his campaign headquarters in Barangay Barrio Luz.

His chief of staff Victor Rodriguez said, when sought for comment about these visits, that “presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and Mayor Sara Duterte finding themselves together in Cebu is just another beautiful coincidence.”

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“When politicians meet it is inevitable that they will also talk about politics, among many other subject matters,” Rodriguez also said.

Duterte’s spokesperson, Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco of Liloan town in Cebu, also played down the presence of Duterte and Marcos in Cebu City.

She said she invited the Davao mayor to the inauguration on Sunday of Pier 88, the seaport company in Liloan, and to the general assembly of the Cebu Chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines held also that day.

But Marcos, when interviewed by reporters on Friday, told them to watch out for “major developments” on the days leading to Nov. 15, the deadline for the substitution of candidates.

“You know there is still time. I know that everybody is waiting for at least Nov. 15 when the list of candidates is final,” he said.

Battleground

Duterte earlier filed her COC to seek another term as Davao City mayor, but it was not enough to dispel rumors that she would eventually replace any of the perceived placeholders fielded by the parties under the ruling coalition.

Cebu province is seen as an electoral battleground because it has the biggest voting population in the country at 3.2 million, according to the Commission on Elections’ data. Marcos acknowledged the importance of the province and its independent cities, saying: “This is Cebu and it is going to be very important because Cebu is very much a leader in terms of opinion generation in this part of the country. In fact, it’s second only perhaps to Manila, for the rest of the Philippines. So yes, it is extremely important.”

But Cebu was a known opposition bailiwick in the Visayas during his father’s dictatorship. And in 2016, Marcos lost to Robredo in the province by more than 500,000 votes.

Yet five years after that defeat, he was warmly welcomed here as he met with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan, and other officials.

In the 2016 presidential election, Sara Duterte’s father got the highest number of votes in the province.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 presidential election, Bongbong Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sara Duterte-Carpio
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