Umali ally backs BBM’s presidential bid; Unang Sigaw picks Sara for VP

November 20, 2021 Steve A. Gosuico 305 views

SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Mayor Arvin C. Salonga, a close ally of Gov. Aurelio M. Umali at the latter’s Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago party, is openly endorsing former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. as his “personal choice” for president in the 2022 national polls.

Salonga, a former League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Nueva Ecija chapter president, told the Journal Group that he has informed Umali about his decision to support the presidential bid of BBM (Bongbong’s initials), with the governor giving his approval.

The re-electionist mayor, who is also allied with former president and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino party, clarified that it was his own decision to support BBM. He said his partymates at Umali’s Unang Sigaw are still deliberating and have yet to officially pick their official candidate for president.

He added that Unang Sigaw, which coalesced with Hugpong ng Pagbabago back in 2019, has already selected Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is running under Lakas-CMD, as their party’s bet for the vice presidency.

To show his support to the BBM-Sara tandem, the mayor said he ordered the printing of the duo’s campaign streamers in this town.

Salonga said his “close encounter” with BBM happened when he met him and his wife Atty. Louise ‘Lisa’ Araneta-Marcos in an event where he spent a one-week vacation with them in a hotel in 2018 abroad. Prior to this, the mayor said he is close to BBM’s elder sister, Senator Imee Marcos.

Despite all the challenges hurled at him, he said BBM, who is running under the banner of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas party, has the capacity to lead the country and serve the Filipino people as president. “Kaya niyang hawakan at patakbuhin ang bansa,” said Salonga.

To show his support, Salonga said one of his trusted men was appointed to lead BBM’s campaign here as chairman of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party, which also endorsed his bid for the presidency.