Binay paired with Marcos

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Binay paired with Marcos

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LUCENA CITY—Campaign streamers touting Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. were prominently displayed side by side on stage at the Quezon Convention Center here on Saturday at a gathering of Southern Tagalog barangay leaders.

The problem is the two are not a tandem—Binay is running for president under the United Nationalist Alliance, while Marcos belongs to the Nacionalista Party and is running for vice president alongside presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

And no campaign posters of Binay’s running mate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, were in sight, leading people to ask if Binay had dropped him.

Event organizer, former Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, said the rally featuring the two candidates belonging to different parties was arranged by Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, himself a candidate for senator and Marcos’ cousin.

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Request by Romualdez

“It was requested by Representative Romualdez,” said Suarez, an adviser to Binay.

He added this did not mean that his family,  a longtime political clan in Quezon, had switched its support from Honasan to Marcos.

He hinted, however, that any seeming political alliance between Binay and Marcos would have the tacit approval of Honasan.

Suarez quoted Honasan as saying: “I don’t mind being a dead hero basta’t manalo lang si VP Binay. Anything basta’t manalo lang si Jojo (so long as Binay wins).”

He (Honasan) doesn’t mind a Binay-Marcos campaign rally. We have an understanding with Greg, Suarez said.

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He said Marcos’ presence was sought by the local political leaders who asked to hear the vice presidential candidate’s plans.

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While Binay and Marcos both came to the general assembly of Calabarzon barangay leaders here, they did not appear together on stage.

Marcos was first to climb up with Romualdez shortly before noon. They were joined by Suarez, who is running unopposed in Quezon’s third district, and his son, reelectionist Gov. David Suarez.

When Suarez presented Marcos to the 4,000 assembled delegates, he introduced him as the next vice president of the Philippines.

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After his speech, Marcos told the Inquirer he knew nothing about a supposed Binay-Marcos alliance.

“I don’t know about that,” he said, chuckling.

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But he said Honasan once confided to him that kahit anong kailangan niyang gawin para manalo si Vice President Binay ay gagawin niya (he will do what it takes to make Binay win).

Marcos said his presidential candidate was Santiago. “Senator Santiago is my candidate for president, and it will never change.”

In an interview, Binay told reporters he was not deserting Honasan.

He said he did not need to explain anything to Honasan.

“From the very beginning, no matter how the news was spun, I had been telling Senator Honasan I am not one to leave a friend behind. We’ll stick together, for better or worse,” Binay said in Filipino. (Inquirer)

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