SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was in Cebu City yesterday for a campaign sortie.
Marcos met with Cebu City barangay captains and councilors mostly allied with Team Rama, although some members of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) were also present like Mabolo Barangay Captain Rey Ompoc.
Asked if this was an indication that party loyalties have shifted, Provincial Board Member Alex Binghay said it was possible. “It’s always the same every election,” he said.
Marcos, who is chairman of Senate Committee on Local Government, said the tendency of the National Government is to order local government officials what to do when it should ask local officials what they need first.
He said the National Government should forge a strong partnership with local government units (LGUs).
“Kaya bukod sa aking pagkampanya sa aking sarili bilang kandidato, ay kinakampanya ko rin ang pagkakaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino (I’m not just campaigning for myself, I’m campaigning for Filipinos to unite),” Marcos told barangay offiicals present.
When asked about his presence in the consultative meeting, Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Jose Navarro of Team Rama said he was invited.
“There is too much convincing and we are inclined to hear what he has to offer,” said Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera, also a Team Rama ally.
“Right now, they are free to choose. But at the end of the day, the party has to decide,” said City Councilor Gerry Carillo, Team Rama’s south district representative candidate.
Binghay said 10 barangay officials allied with BOPK did not show up.
Before his meeting with local officials, Marcos told members of the local media that he supports clean energy, saying “climate change is here to stay.”
He said the Philippines is facing the real impacts of climate change and current preparations against adverse weather conditions are not enough.
“More extreme weather because of climate change and typhoon Yolanda is clear proof,” Marcos said. “...we have to face up to reality that climate change is here.”
It is for this reason that the vice presidential candidate said he supports solar energy, but he said the country should not be too dependent on it.
It’s not enough, he said, because there is no sun at night and during bad weather.
Marcos said the country needs a steady power supply to satisfy the daily demand of consumers.
“Dapat pa rin natin tingnan ang lahat ng pamamaraan para sa pagbigay ng koryente sa ating mga planta at mga (We have to look at other alternatives to serve) consumers,” he said.
The senator later paid a courtesy call on Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella since Mayor Michael Rama is in Manila.
Marcos was welcomed by Labella, who was accompanied by Councilors Nendell Hanz Abella, Gerardo Carillo and Noel Wenceslao.
When he arrived at the Cebu City Hall around 3 p.m., he was met by six members of the Anti-Marcos Coalition. The protesters, though, were not allowed near the senator.
Justin Balane said they wanted to remind voters that billions of public money went missing during the reign of the senator’s father, the late deposed president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
He pointed out that during the reign of the elder Marcos, students like them went missing after staging protests against the latter’s administration.
“Many of our problems today stem from the billions that went missing during the time of the elder Marcos. Supporters say the senator was too young back then and that he had nothing to do with his father’s civil rights abuses and corruption, but there is evidence from various institutions that he was,” Balane said in Cebuano.
Balane said their number didn’t matter because they were able to relay their message.
City Hall security and other volunteer security personnel tried to disperse the group, but Balane invoked their right to a peaceful assembly.
Marcos later visited the Magellan’s Cross and the Basilica del Sto. Niño before proceeding to the Carbon Public Market.