Roxas enters Marcos territory, gets support of politicians

Grace Alba, ABS-CBN News Ilocos

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas. File Photo

LAOAG CITY - Administration standard bearer Mar Roxas on Saturday visited the province of Ilocos Norte, a known bailiwick of Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Upon his arrival at the Laoag International Airport around 8 a.m., Roxas immediately proceeded to a local radio station for a live interview.

He then went to a restaurant for a press conference, which was attended by re-electionist Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and 22 of the 23 mayors of the different municipalities in the province.

Fariñas noted that their presence reflects their strong support for the Liberal Party (LP) candidate.

"I will not speak in numbers, our presence here will already manifest our desire to fully support. Tutulungan namin si Mar," he said.

He, however, marked his loyalty to Marcos against Roxas's running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Fariñas is now a member of the LP. But he is a strong ally of Governor Imee Marcos in previous elections.

"Kami naman dito, sinabi ko rin kay Leni -- kaibigan ko si Leni, when my son died, Leni even came here -- siyempre dito sa Ilocos Norte, Bongbong kami. Amin si BBM, taga-rito yan, so lahat kami siyempre nandun kami kay Bongbong," he explained.

"Although ako'y Liberal Party, ang sentiment ng public, mahirap naman na saktan namin ang ka-probinsya namin. Mamahalin namin ka-probinsiya namin," he added.

READ: Robredo visits Marcos turf, offers self as alternative

The congressman said they are not supporting Marcos's running mate, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. "So alam naman natin si Bongbong mayroon siyang katandem, pero hindi naman namin naririnig dito," he said.

Roxas, for his part, expressed his gratitude to Fariñas and the mayors for their support to his presidential bid.

"Nagpapasalamat ako kay Cong. Rudy at sa ating mayors sa suportang ipinapakita nila at maaasahan nila tulad noon, kahit iba-iba ang mga partido, kahit hindi magkakasama ang mga leaders, ang aming mga partido ay pantay po ang pagtingin sa kanila," said Roxas.

What can the province of Ilocos Norte expect from Roxas if elected president?

Roxas vowed to provide more job opportunities for the people of Ilocos Norte. He added the province should be further developed in terms of tourism and infrastructure.

MAR INCHES UP

Meanwhile, Roxas expressed joy over the results of the latest ABS-CBN survey by Pulse Asia showing him in a statistical tie at second place with Senator Grace Poe.

"Natutuwa tayo sa pag-angat natin. Ang iba bumaba... Tayo lang ang tumaas at umaakyat sa survey," he said. "Kaya I am very encouraged at natutuwa ako. Ito yung sinasabi nating shift on the ground, movement on the ground."

He then attacked one of his rivals, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has been leading in recent voter preference polls, saying the mayor should clearly explain his alleged hidden wealth.

"Ito yung shift on the ground na nakikita natin, dahil unang-una, ayaw ng ating mga kababayan ang bastos at higit lalo madumi ang kamay. Kasing rumi pala ng bibig niya yung kamay. Hindi niya mapatunayan kung saan nagmula itong dalawang bilyong piso na dumaan sa kanyang account," Roxas said.

READ: Duterte accounts had P2.4-B in transactions: Trillanes