After Ilocanos, Bongbong Marcos courts Tagalogs in Batangas

BATANGAS, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr campaigned in the Southern Tagalog region, starting in this ruling party-dominated province.

Marcos visited select Batangas municipalities on Saturday, February 20. 

His first stop was Balayan where Mayor Emmanuel Fronda is an ally and a fellow member of the Nacionalista Party (NP).

Welcomed by several cheering residents, Marcos reiterated his message of unity to the Tagalogs.

Sen Marcos stops at a covered court in Balayan - first stop of his Batangas sortie #PHVote @rapplerdotcom — Patty Pasion (@pattypasion) February 20, 2016

“Ang aking laging isinisigaw ang pagbabalik ng pagkakaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino dahil ito ang tanging paraan para maramdaman muli ang progresibong bukas,” Marcos told the crowd in a covered court in Balayan, Batangas. 

(What I am pushing for is the restoration of the unity of the Filipino people because it is in this way that we can feel a progressive tomorrow.) 

Marcos talks about a people's unity in Ilocos before Tagalogs in Batangas #PHVote @rapplerdotcom — Patty Pasion (@pattypasion) February 20, 2016

“May Ilocano, may Tagalog, may Bisaya, may mga Bicolano, may mga Waray. Kahit saan tayo nanggaling, 'wag nating kalimutan na tayo ay Pilipino. Isang bansa, isang diwa," he said. (READ: The Leader I Want: Bongbong Marcos' to-fix list for 2016)

(There are Ilocanos, Tagalog, Visayans, Bicolanos, Waray. Wherever we may come from, let us not forget that we are all Filipinos. One country, one spirit.)  

Batangueño allies

Out of 34 mayors in Batangas, 22 belong to the Liberal Party. Two belong to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance, and others from differnet parties such as the Nationalist People’s Coalition and the NP. 

Not all LP members in Batangas, however, are supporting the official candidates of the administration. Taal Mayor Mayor Michael Montenegro, an LP member, said he will support Marcos and not the administration's vice presidential candidate, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo.

“Iba’t iba tayo 'no. Kami lahat dito may ginugusto kami. Hindi naman lahat ng [napipili] may partido eh. Per kursunada eh,” the local chief executive told Rappler in a brief interview.  

(We are all different. We all have someone we like. Not all that we support have a party. It depends on who we like.) 

Montenegro, however, said his presidential candidate is still LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

Calaca Mayor Sofronio Ona, who belongs to the NPC, said he will support Marcos. He thinks Vice President Jejomar Binay and Marcos will win in his province.

“I have a prediction that it’s going to be Binay and Bongbong who’s going to win in the province of Batangas,” he said. 

Although Batangas is not among the top 5 vote rich provinces for the 2016 elections, it has a large voting populace at 1,526, 195. When Marcos ran for the Senate in 2010, 2% of his votes came from the province with the highest coming from its 3 major cities: Batangas, Lipa and Tanauan. –

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.