The two leading contenders for the next president of the Philippines held totally different events on December 8 as Philippine Asian News Today went to press.
December 8 was also the worldwide celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, in which Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo found the occasion to call on Filipinos to try and achieve a state of grace everyday.
Meanwhile, frontrunning presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” “BBM” Marcos Jr. led a massive caravan in Quezon City, together with his running mate and vice presidential running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio were joined by thousands of supporters in a show of force.
In a statement, the Marcos camp claimed that the people who trooped to Quezon City on Wednesday morning to join the caravan “magnified the people power strength of the tandem in Metro Manila.”
The motorcade also “reinforced” the survey results which showed that Marcos and Duterte-Carpio were “leading the race in Metro Manila, among other regions.”
The motorcade caused traffic jams in major thoroughfares.
The five-hour motorcade began along Commonwealth Avenue in front of the Commission on Audit and ended at Welcome Rotonda at the boundary of Quezon City and Manila.
“Ang pagpili po ninyo kay Marcos at Duterte ay boto ninyo para sa pagkakaisa, para sa pa mas mabuti at mas magandang kinabukasan ng ating bansa (Your choice of Marcos and Duterte is your vote for unity, for our country’s better future),” Marcos told his supporters.
The motorcade started with a meet-and-greet event at the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue, in front of the Commission on Audit’s head office.
The caravan took a U-turn along Fairview and went through Commonwealth Avenue to Quezon Avenue and ended at the Welcome Rotonda.
For her part, Robredo on the December 8 observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception urged Filipinos to strive for a “state of grace” every day.
The Catholic feast commemorates the Virgin Mary’s conception without sin.
It is a reminder of the importance of “total surrender to the Will of God na (that is) based on faith,” said Robredo, a mother of three.
“Pangalawa, at tingin ko ‘yon ‘yong mas importante, ‘yong to strive every single day to be in the state of grace… Strive every single day to be holy,” she said at a mass in Concepcion, Tarlac.
(Second, and I think this is more important, is to strive every day to be in the state of grace, strive every single day to be holy.)
The Vice President acknowledged her supporters who organized “lugaw” feeding programs, and free haircuts and rides, among others.
“Marami pa tayong puwedeng magawa. Walang maliit o malaking ambag ha,” she said on Facebook.
(We can still do more. There is no big or small contribution.)
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said that he wants to include President Rodrigo Duterte on the list of those he will support in the 2022 senate under his ticket.
This comes despite the tension between Moreno and Duterte in the past two months.
“I will personally vote for Duterte as senator. Given his track record and accomplishments as president, he is very capable for that position,” Domagoso said in a social media post on December 6.
“Ayaw ko siyang pangunahan but I would be humbled and honored to have him in our slate.”
Domagoso said he is involved in the administration’s Build Build Build infrastructure program, in addition to its vaccination program against COVID-19.
He said this during his tour in Lapu-Lapu City today, even though his Aksyon Demokratiko party had slapped Digong for “politicking” him in distributing aid.
In another front, Senator and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao on December 8 vowed he would not give any favours to anyone even if they help him in his 2022 presidential bid.
Pacquiao admitted that he has businessmen friends who help him in his 2022 bid.
“May mga kaibigan ako dito sa Pilipinas na tumutulong, mahirap naman magsabi na wala, tumutulong kahit papaano para maka-survive,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo when asked if there are businessmen contributing to his campaign.
(I have friends here in the Philippines who are helping. We can’t say that there’s nothing. There are people who are helping so that we can survive.)
“Kapag may tumulong, sinasabi ko na hindi ako makipag-compromise,” he added when asked if those who are helping him are asking for favors in return.
(When someone is helping, I tell them I will not compromise.)
Pacquiao is running for president under the Probinsya Muna Development Initiative, an allied group of the supposed dominant but now split party PDP-Laban.
The boxer-turned-politician maintained he is firm on running for the highest post of the country, and will only consider withdrawing from the presidential race if he gets instructions to do so from God.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is also running for president.
Lacson appealed to fellow candidates in the 2022 national elections to respect the positions they are seeking and not make a mockery out of it.
The senator, Partido Reporma chairman, is running in the May 9, 2022 election with his longtime ally, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd, Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) chairman, as his running mate.
In a speech, Lacson has urged voters to respect the sanctity of their ballots and think about the future generation when they troop to the polls next year.
He also made a similar appeal to other personalities involved in the 2022 polls “to give the same level of respect to the elective positions they are seeking.”
“Voting is not the only thing that is scared, but running for a public office as well. Let us not play with it because we are the ones who will suffer but the next generation,” Lacson said in Filipino.
With the Philippines facing tough challenges such as the ongoing pandemic, mass unemployment, economic recession, and foreign incursions in the West Philippine Sea, among others, Lacson said “it behooves every Filipino voter to take the elections seriously.”