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At Malacanang's Door, Bongbong Marcos Pitches 'Unity' to Voters

Is the Marcos resurgence unstoppable?
by Arianne Merez
May 7, 2022
Philippines presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr greets his supporters during the last day of campaign rally at Paranaque City, suburban Manila on May 7, 2022.
Photo/s: Jam Sta Rosa, Agence France-Presse
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On the cusp of restoring his family to the presidency after 36 years, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivered his last campaign speech before a red sea of flag-waving supporters, sticking to the "unity" gospel as he is poised to win the May 9 vote based on opinion polls.

The 64-year-old former senator and only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. wore a white polo barong laced with red patches as he pitched unity--the central theme of his campaign--for one last time in a dry open space surrounded by luxury casinos in Parañaque City.

"Kami ay kasama sa pagkakaisa, kami ay kasama sa pagpapaunlad ng Pilipinas, kami ay kasama sa pagpapaunlad ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino," Marcos Jr. said in his speech.

READ: If Bongbong Marcos Wins, What Happens to Hunt for Family's Wealth?

A reworked version of "Bagong Lipunan", which his father used to describe his vision for a "new society" under martial law, blared from loudspeakers as the rally ended close to midnight.

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Marcos has refused hard questioning on the documented cases of corruption and human rights abuse under his father's two-decade-long rule. Martial law victims fear the family's resurgence could mean that the Philippines could slide deeper into authoritarian rule.

"Pagdating ng Lunes ay isipin ninyo kung ano ang ninanais nating kinabukasan para sa Pilipinas. Sa ganung pag-iisip ay umaasa kami sa UniTeam na kami ang mapupusuan ninyo dahil sa UniTeam nyo lang naririnig ang pagkakaisa," he added.

Marcos has tapped Sara Duterte, the daughter and political heir of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, as his vice president. Both children of strongmen leaders were the top choices of voters based on Pulse Asia's last poll before the May 9 vote.

"Ngayon po tayo ay nasa katapusan na ng ating kampanya para sa halalan sa Lunes...Ang idadagdag ko lang ay ang pasasalamat sa lahat sa inyo," Marcos said.

The May 9 vote is a rematch between Marcos and his political nemesis Leni Robredo after his narrow loss to her in the 2016 vice presidential race. Marcos Jr. claimed that he was cheated overnight but a Supreme Court recount confirmed Robredo's victory.

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"Katakot-takot na kape ang uubusin natin," he said.

The Marcos-Duterte tandem has remained consistent with their unity pitch in what analysts fear can result in a massive whitewashing of his father's brutal and bloody dictatorship.

READ: Last 2 Minutes: Marcos Rules Surveys, Robredo Rides People's Campaign

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