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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led on Thursday, August 24, the oathtaking of new members of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), the little-known party that served as his vehicle during the 2022 presidential elections.
Among those who took the pledge at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang Palace were the president’s son and newbie legislator Senior Deputy Floor Leader Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, who represents the 1st district of Ilocos Norte, and governors who supported Marcos’ rival candidate in 2022.
According to a release from Malacañang, the following officials are new members of the PFP:
- Representative Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos, 1st District, Ilocos Norte
- Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque, Bukidnon
- Governor Marilou H. Cayco, Batanes
- Governor Christian M. Noveras, Aurora
- Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr., Zambales
- Governor Eduardo B. Gadiano, Occidental Mindoro
- Governor Ricarte R. Padilla, Camarines Norte
- Governor Edcel Greco B. Lagman, Albay
- Governor Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, Bohol
- Governor Damian G. Mercado, Southern Leyte
- Governor Imelda Q. Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte
- Governor Dorothy M. Gonzaga, Davao de Oro
- Governor Edwin I. Jubahib, Davao del Norte
- Governor Arthur R. Defensor Jr., Iloilo
- Governor Abdulraof A. Macacua, Maguindanao del Norte
- Vice Governor Katherine C. Agapay, Laguna
- Secretary Lope B. Santos III, Lead Convenor, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)
- Assistant Secretary Arlan M. Mangelen, Department of Agriculture
- Girlie E. Amarillo, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Deputy Director General-NAPC
In a speech during the oathtaking of new members, the President called on them to “uphold” the party’s ideology and to push for federalism.
“With the power centers being given to the local governments, to the local districts, and to those who are operating at the local level, and thereby bringing those power centers to many, many, many places, it makes for a more stable political structure and makes a more stable political life. Dahil kung may mangyari sa isang lugar, kahit bumagsak ‘yan, basta’t nasira, hindi na talaga puwede, nagkagiyera, whatever, tuloy pa rin ‘yung mga iba. Hindi nasisira ang buong sistema. And that is what we – that is the central ideology of the PFP,” he said.
(Because if something happens to a specific place, even if it falls, even if it’s beyond salvaging, there’s war or whatever, other places continue to move forward. The entire system is not placed in peril.)
Ironically, Marcos has not made a substantial push for federalism in his first year of office.
Preparing for elections
Even as he started his speech with a call for new party members to push for federalism, the President zeroed in right away on preparing for the coming elections – both the 2025 midterms and the Baranggay at Sangguniang Kabataan poll.
“We are trying to align the political forces that are in… that are like-minded political forces. And to that end, I think it is an opportune time to be able to say that after this, we are going to continue to talk to other political parties and come to an agreement with them para nga patibayin natin nang husto ‘yung ating grupo. Kahit na nag-iiba ang ating mga partido, kahit na nag-iiba ang ating tinakbuhan ay puwede pa ring magtulungan (to strengthen our party. Even if our parties differ, even if we ran with different parties, we can still help each other),” he said.
The son the deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos ran in 2022 as a PFP candidate under the Uniteam, a broad coalition that brought together the biggest and most infamous names in Philippine politics. Aside from PFP, the Uniteam coalition was made up of Lakas-CMD, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), and local party Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Lakas-CMD is a party that counts former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Marcos’ cousin Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Vice President Sara Duterte.
Duterte, meanwhile, is founder and head of the Davao-based Hugpong ng Pagbabago. PMP is a party founded by ousted president Erap Estrada.
As he teased even more groups or parties joining their side, Marcos acknowledged possible “conflicts” that could arise – that is, if parties within the coalition end up fielding rivals in local posts. “That’s a sort of thing that we will have to work out. Kaya kailangan na natin umpisahan na ngayon (So we need to start now) and that’s why we are doing this,” he said.
While the 2025 elections happens in two years yet, preparations have long started – or at least, they should have. Up for grabs in the mid-terms are 12 Senate seats, congressional berths, and local government posts. It’s typically seen as a “referendum” of the sitting president, or a check on the power of his personality or his party have over Philippine politics. – Rappler.com