Marcos, Duterte highlight 'unity' as election campaign kicks off

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Photo courtesy: Partido Federal ng Pilipinas

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8)— Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte stuck with their "unity" theme to kick off the 90-day campaign season — highlighting their platforms during their jam-packed proclamation rally at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Tuesday.

In his speech, Marcos underscored the importance of solidarity, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

"Ang pagkakaisa ang unang hakbang para tayo ay makaraos na dito sa krisis (Unity is the first step for us to overcome this crisis)," Marcos told supporters — clad in red and green — present at the venue.

The son and namesake of the late dictator cited how his team-up with Duterte is a good example of the move. "Kung ang isang taga-Norte at ang isang taga-Mindanao na magkabilang-dako ay kayang magsama at magkaisa, sa aking palagay naman, kaya nating ipagkaisa ang buong Pilipinas," he said.

[Translation: If a person from the north and a person from Mindanao — separate ends of the country — can join forces and unite, I think we can also unite the whole country.]

Duterte, for her part, laid down some of the tandem's priority platforms: jobs for the masses, quality education for the youth, and a "peaceful" life for the public.

She also explained why she chose Marcos as her running mate for the elections.

"Naniniwala ako sa kakayahan niya na mamuno bilang pangulo (I believe in his capabilities to lead as president)," the mayor said. "We must protect Bongbong Marcos."

Jampacked event

The three hour-long event — hosted by actress Toni Gonzaga — likewise gathered celebrities and senatorial bets backing the so-called "Uniteam."

READ: After backlash over Marcos interview, Toni Gonzaga urged to speak to martial law victims

Physically present during the rally were Harry Roque, Gibo Teodoro, Win Gatchalian, Migz Zubiri, Herbert Bautista, Mark Villar, Larry Gadon, Jinggoy Estrada, and Rodante Marcoleta — who all made their case on why they should win a Senate seat.