MANILA, Philippines – Fresh off their stay in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte on Friday, February 18, got the official endorsement of another political clan, the Ortegas of La Union.
“I am endorsing the candidacy of Mayor Sara for vice president. I believe in her capacity, she’s been mayor of Davao City for a long time,” La Union Governor Emmanuel Ortega III said in a chance interview hours before Duterte paid a courtesy call at the provincial capitol in San Fernando City.
Ortega also predicted a “landslide win” not just for Duterte but also her running-mate, presidential candidate and former Ilocos Norte Governor Bongbong Marcos Jr. “Kaming mga Ilokano (We Ilokanos), our affinity with fellow Ilocanos is innate,” said the governor, who was joined by several of family members who are also sitting government officials in greeting Duterte.
According to Lakas-CMD, among those present included 1st district Representative Pablo Ortega, Board Member Paolo Ortega, and San Juan Vice Mayor Mannix Ortega. All four are members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
The day prior, Marcos Jr. and Duterte were in Ilocos Sur, where they campaigned alongside the Singson clan. Other political leaders from North Luzon have also endorsed the Uniteam tandem, including Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano III, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson, and Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc, who is Marcos Jr.’s nephew.
But even prior to endorsement from northern governors, the Uniteam tandem had been touting how theirs was an alliance of the “Solid North” – the so-called voting bloc supportive of the Marcos clan and of Mindanao and other Bisaya-speaking areas, where Sara Duterte and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, are dominant.
Marcos Jr won by a landslide in La Union in the 2016 vice presidential race, getting 338,455 votes. The eventual winner of that race and his 2022 rival Vice President Leni Robredo garnered only 19,596 in the province.
Uniteam itself is an alliance of four political parties and political clans – Lakas-CMD and Davao-based Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which Sara Duterte chairs; Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, of which Marcos Jr is standard-bearer; and of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, a party founded by former president Erap Estrada. Duterte’s campaign managers include Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who is also Marcos Jr.s cousin.
Both Marcos Jr. and Duterte lead preference surveys ahead of the 2022 elections. – Rappler.com