After 2016 loss to Robredo in Batangas, Marcos returns with governor’s backing
BALAYAN, Batangas — After his loss to rival Leni Robredo for vice president in Batangas 2016, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. campaigned in the vote-rich province on Thursday — this time with the support of Gov. Herminaldo “Dodo” Mandanas.
Standing before his supporters in Balayan town, Marcos stuck to his message of unity—a consistent theme in his campaign pitch—albeit not mentioning in detail his plans should he get elected to the highest government post in the country.
“Lahat ng nangyari sa ating hamon, lahat ng sakuna, lahat ng kahirapan ay tayo ay nakaharap diyan at tayo ay nakaraos diyan dahil tayong mga Pilipino ay nagkakaisa,” Uniteam’s standard bearer said.
“‘Yan sa aking palagay ang unang hakbang nang sa ganun ay babalik, hindi lamang sa sitwasyon natin bago ang pandemya, kundi ay pagagandahin pa natin ang Pilipinas,” he added.
Marcos said that the agriculture sector should be improved while the tourism industry has to be revived following the pandemic.
The presidential candidate also said he will continue the “Build, Build, Build” program of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration as well as the improvement in the country’s digital infrastructure.
He likewise stressed the need to study ways to lower power costs in the country.
Governor, vice gov’s support
During the sortie, Mandanas, together with Batangas vice governor Mark Leviste, raised the hands of the Marcos-Duterte tandem — a sign of endorsement from the two provincial executives.
He, nonetheless, acknowledged that Marcos lost in Batangas in the 2016 elections.
“Yung mga nakaraang eleksyon kakaiba ang mga kondisyon, ngayon ang kailangan natin ay pamumuno na kapares ni Bongbong Marcos at ni Sara, for president at vice president. Kailangan lagi nating didinggin, ano ang kailangan natin ngayon at sa hinaharap,” Mandanas said in an ambush interview.
Asked regarding his confidence that the Marcos-Duterte will win in the province, Mandanas claimed that the “whole of Batangas” will back the tandem.
Batangas, however, may not seem as solid as Mandanas claims.
Former governor and incumbent Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto has previously expressed support towards another presidential candidate — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who also previously served as representative of the 4th district of Batangas, also backed Domagoso’s presidency.
National candidates traditionally made sure to include Batangas in their campaign, being the province with the seventh highest number of voters, with over 1.8 million voters.
In 2016 vice presidential race, Robredo won in the province after receiving more than 513,000 votes. Marcos, who placed second, got over 260,000 votes.
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