BBM (left) talks to Gov. Presby Velasco in this file photo
MANILA — Having assessed a good chance of winning for their presidential bet, leaders of the closely-knitted politicians in provinces north of Luzon urged former Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. to vie for the presidency in next year’s national elections.
Marcos, who asked to be identified only as Citizen Bongbong, stayed close second with a 17.8 percent rating to presidential daughter Sara Duterte who scored 20.8 percent in the latest survey of Publicos Asia, Inc.
The political leaders, mostly mayors, congressmen, and governors have long composed themselves into what is known in Ilocandia electorates as the Solid North because they can command block votes.
Solid North leaders, led by Isabela Gov. Rodito Albano and League of Municipalities president and Narvacan town mayor Chavit Singson met over the weekend with BBM, along with more than 30 congressmen from the upper regions of Luzon.
It was in that Sunday meeting which Sen. Imee had arranged as pre-SONA merienda at the Marcos old house in San Juan City, Metro Manila that BBM was urged to run for president by Singson and the Solid North leaders.
Even Marinduque governor and League of Provinces president Presbeterio Velasco, who was also in that Sunday merienda-meeting, prodded BBM to join the presidential race and “reach for his dream.”
But the former senator, who busied himself with rounds of unheralded distribution of civic and medical help to government frontliners attending to the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, remained uncommitted as to what position to run in the 2022 elections.
During that same pre-SONA merienda gathering, the so-called northern alliance took the occasion to discuss the forthcoming presidential election and the results of the many surveys showing Marcos as a strong contender for the presidency.
“It was at that point that Manong Chavit stood up and enjoined the group to remain united and committed should Bongbong file his candidacy for president this coming October,” said one congressman who attended the gathering.
He added: “Our encouragement for BBM to join the presidential race is anchored on our voting culture as a solid alliance that by default, we always stick to our own candidate in the national elective position.” (ai/mtvn)