Former senator Bongbong Marcos (Photo courtesy by The Times)
By Junex Doronio
July 25, 2021
MANILA — Silent waters run deep, as the saying goes, but the enigmatic silence of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has captivated around 50 congressmen and local political leaders of the closely-knitted “Solid North” who vowed to support whatever his decision for the 2022 polls, including a shot on the presidency following his late father’s footsteps.
The “Solid North” stalwarts gathered late Sunday afternoon in what Sen. Imee Marcos described as a “pre-SONA (State of the Nation Address)” merienda at the senator’s old house in San Juan City, Metro Manila.
Even if BBM, as the former senator is fondly called, has yet to make his final announcement of his 2022 poll plan, the gathering was interpreted by some attending congressmen as an assessment of his chances to win in next year’s presidential race.
They noted that with a 17.8 percent rating, BBM scored a close second in the latest survey of Publicos Asia, Inc. to presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio who got 20.8 percent, Vice President Leni Robredo running third with 13.2 percent, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in fourth place with a score of 11.3 percent.
“If he will decide to run for president, BBM will surely get the block votes of the so-called ‘solid north’ which count to a few million coming from the provinces of Regions 1 and 2 and some parts of Region 3,” said one congressman who requested anonymity.
He added: “By default, our political culture in the Ilocandia is to always stick to an Ilocano bet in any national electoral post.”
Another leader of the “Solid North” noted that, unlike some politicians who have already made known their interest to run for president, BBM is keeping close to his chest his crucial decision “which is typical of a seasoned politician… the very reason why we are confident of his victory in this coming election.”
The former senator, who prefers to be called Citizen Bongbong, reportedly run few rounds of assistance and social welfare projects to medical and government frontliners handling the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the victims of the Taal volcano eruption.
“Despite his unheralded regular political routines and discreet consultations with leaders and supporters, our very own BBM still scored very high in presidential surveys conducted by credible pulsing institutions,” said another member-solon of the “Solid North.”
The lawmaker added: “We expect Sen. Imee to roll out more political tightening moves for her brother in whatever decision that BBM would come up soon or on the day of the filing of CoCs (certificate of candidacies) since I’ve already said that by default we, Ilocanos, stick to our own candidates.” (ai/mtvn)