MAKILALA, North Cotabato — Ilocanos in North Cotabato expressed support to the candidacy of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.
The lawmaker, who is in his second day of his “Unity Caravan” in Mindanao, first visited the Municipality of Makilala, wherein he was met by Mayor Rudy Caoagdan, who’s parents are from Ilocos and Pangasinan.
“Ang aking suporta ay para sa kanya, dahil sa nakita natin sa kanya ang seryoso niyang pagtulong sa publiko,” he said.
On Thursday, Marcos also visited the cities of Kidapawan and Cotabato, as well as the municipalities of Kabacan and Midsayap.
Marcos and company came from General Santos City and South Cotabato, wherein he received warm welcome particularly in the town of Tupi, from local officials and residents.
The South Cotabato mayors on Wednesday affirmed their commitment to support the candidacy of Marcos during their luncheon meeting at the FB Hotel and Convention Center at Koronadal City.
Among those present in the meeting were mayors Albert Palencia of Banga, Antonio Fungan of Lake Sebu, Victor Balayon of Norala, Honey Lumayag-Matti of Polomolok, Antonio Damandaman, Sr. of Santo Nino, Antonio Bendita of Surallah, Leonardo Escobillo of Tampakan, Benjamin Figueroa,Jr. of Tantangan, Dibu Tuan of T’boli, and Reynaldo Tamayo of Tupi.
Also Marcos has been declared by the T’boli tribesmen of South Cotabato as their “Supreme Leader”.
The lawmaker was the guest of honor of the municipality of T’boli on their 47th foundation anniversary and 18th Seslong festival.
To welcome Marcos after his helicopter landed, the tribesmen carried him on their shoulders, never letting his feet touch the ground until he was on the stage several meters away as a sign of utmost respect to his stature in the tribe. He was also given a traditional T’boli custom to wear.
It was the first time the tribe gave the title to anyone. T’boli Mayor Dibu Tuan said this was their way of showing gratitude to the senator’s father, the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, who created the municipality named after their tribe through Presidential Decree No. 407 issued on March 5, 1974.
“This is the treasure that you gave us. We cannot forget your generosity as long as we live and we can never repay it,” he said.
For his part, Marcos thanked the people of T’boli for the warm welcome and the honor they gave him. He likewise congratulated them for their good work that enabled their town to rise to the rank of a first class municipality.
“I am happy but with a little sadness, because my father is no longer around to thank all of you personally. I hope it is enough for the son to express that gratitude,” he added. Ferdinand Patinio/PNA/northboundasia.com