ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The “Uniteam” of presidential bet ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte scored big in Tawi-Tawi province where the governor and all the province’s town mayors declared their support for the tandem’s bid to be the country’s next leaders.
In Zamboanga, a city perceived as “pink country” and where presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo will lead her ticket in a grand campaign rally on Thursday afternoon, March 17, the group of an old ally of the Marcoses reiterated its support for the Uniteam tandem. But the group also asked that its local candidates be endorsed by Marcos’ party.
The Tawi-Tawi One Party (TOP) of Governor Yshmael “Mang” Sali passed resolutions to adopt Marcos and Duterte as its presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Incidentally, Sali and the Davao mayor had a private meeting at The Manila Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, March 16.
Key political leaders in Tawi-Tawi, including all of the province’s mayors, signed TOP Resolution 01-2022 and Resolution 02-2022, unanimously adopting Marcos and Duterte as their group’s top candidates, said provincial board member Mohammad Yusof Tidal, the party’s secretary-general on Wednesday, March 16.
Among those who signed the resolutions were Governor Sali, Vice Governor Michail Ahaja, BARMM member of parliament Al-Syed Sali, congressional aspirant Dimszar Sali, and provincial board member Sukarno Asri.
Tidal said Tawi-tawi’s 10 mayors also signed the twin resolutions. They are mayors Jimuel Que of Bongao, Wasilah Abdurahman of Simunul, Rhodesia Sali of Sapa-sapa, Al-Shefa Pajiji of Sibutu, Raheima Salih of Tandubas, Tiblan Ahaja of Sitangkai, Abduhasan Sali of Languyan, Hadzri Matba of South Ubian, Suraida Muksin of Languyan Mapun, and Mohammad Faizal Jamalul of Turtle Islands.
In Zamboanga City, former congressman and mayor Celso Lobregat led his group on Tuesday, March 15, in renewing their pledge of loyalty and commitment to Marcos and Duterte.
Lobregat, who is running for mayor again, is a scion of a family that was closely associated with the Marcoses during the years of dictatorship.
But the group also called on Marcos’ Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) to endorse Lobregat’s mayoral bid and the candidacies of his running mate Benjamin Guingona IV, and congressional bets Khymer Olaso and Jerry Perez.
Zamboanga has two local political groups supporting the Marcos and Duterte tandem. The other group is led by reelectionist 2nd District Representative Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe whose councilor brother John is also running for mayor.
The Dalipes and Lobregat’s group are clashing with two other political groups for city hall’s leadership.
One is the group of outgoing Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco that is behind the mayoral bid of 1st District Representative Cesar Jimenez. The other is led by Vice Mayor Rommel Agan who is also seeking the mayoral post. – Rappler.com
Frencie Carreon is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship