Photo by Jasmin Dulay
The Nacionalista Party (NP) had long kept it clear they are not endorsing any of their members who are running for vice president. But in a local gathering in Pangasinan on Friday, February 26, NP leader Senator Cynthia Villar was together with her party-mate and vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
Marcos is one of the 3 vice presidential candidates belonging to the country's oldest political party, the others being Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. (READ: Strange 2016 poll circus exposes weak PH parties)
The senator, wife of NP President Manuel Villar, was quick to say she was not there to endorse Marcos.
"Kami po sa Nacionalista hindi makakampanya kasi tatlo silang Nacionalista na kandidato. Pero alam ko po naman sa Solid North hindi na kailangang ikampanya pa si Senator Marcos. I think nasa puso niyo ang pagboto kay Senator Marcos," she told local leaders gathered in a resort in Balungao, Pangasinan.
(The Nacionalista [Party] cannot campaign for a vice presidential candidate because we have 3 members running. But I know that here in the Solid North, we don't need to campaign for Senator Marcos. I think it is in your hearts to vote for him.)
Both Villar and Marcos' camps said the meeting was "accidental" as the former just dropped by the event in Balungao town after an earlier speaking engagement in another municipality. The two were both invited by Abono Party List Representative Conrado Estrella III of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC).
Villar’s spokesperson Roselyn Rubia-Enrique even noted that the female senator was "surprised" to see her fellow lawmaker in the event.
This is the second time in the campaign period when a Villar was present in the same gathering as Marcos. Last February 19, Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar and wife DIWA party list Representative Emmeline Aglipay Villar attended the formal opening of Marcos' campaign headquarters along EDSA-Mandaluyong. – Rappler.com