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CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo officially endorsed the presidential and vice presidential tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte on Tuesday, April 5, predicting a landslide victory for them in her home province.
The endorsement was made through an official statement, released on her 75th birthday and a day after her April 4 rally in Lubao, Pampanga, which was attended by Duterte and several senatorial candidates.
“I see a landslide victory for BBM-Sara here in Pampanga,” the press release quoted her as telling Lubao residents on April 4.
Dindo Danao, Macapagal-Arroyo group’s senior PR consultant, told Rappler that Arroyo’s son Mikey approved the statement. “We see a landslide win for BBM and Sara, that was the text kaninang umaga. Yun ang pwede kong panindigan,” said Danao. (That’s what I can vouch for.)
The former president is running unopposed in Pampanga’s second district, which is currently represented by Mikey Arroyo. Pampanga is the 10th most vote-rich province with 1.58 million voters.
The press release said Marcos “would need Sara Duterte, daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, as his vice president.”
The former president is considered the powerbroker behind the Uniteam tandem of the dictator’s son and President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter. She convinced Sara, who had already filed her certificate of candidacy as reelectionist mayor of Davao City, to withdraw from the local race, join Lakas-CMD, and file as a vice presidential candidate.
In 2018, Sara Duterte had played a key role in the ouster of then-Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a stealth move that made Arroyo speaker.
“We are also endorsing her (Sara) because of the help which her father provided Pampanga. Let us return the favor. We should make them win by a landslide,” Arroyo said in the statement. – Rappler.com
Joann Manabat is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.