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‘We belong to one party now’

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The camp of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. sees nothing wrong with the plan of his archnemesis, Vice President Leni Robredo, to establish a non-governmental organization (NGO) after her term.

In a radio interview on Monday, Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson said their camp understands that any Filipino is free to organize for a particular endeavor.

“It’s okay. Everyone has the right to organize and do whatever they want. Our only concern is while we can enjoy our freedom, each freedom contains within it a corresponding responsibility,” lawyer Vic Rodriguez said in Filipino.

“For as long as you are exercising your rights within the bounds of the law, any democratic government and leadership would respect that, just like the incoming administration of Bongbong,” he added.

For Marcos Jr.’s camp, as long as the group of the country’s main opposition figure would act in accordance with the law, there would be no problem.

“Respect the Constitution, respect the law and we will be okay. Now, if you will be violating the law or undermining the Constitution, there is a corresponding responsibility. You should be ready to face the consequence,” Rodriguez said.

Only six hours after voting precincts closed, a composed but firm Robredo asked her supporters to respect the results of the 9 May presidential elections. By that time, a quick count showed that Marcos Jr. enjoyed a wide lead in the presidential race.

With 98 percent of the votes tabulated, Marcos Jr. so far garnered more than 31.1 million votes, compared to her 14.8 million.

But Robredo did not want her massive volunteer-led campaign to go to waste. She called on them to join her new endeavor as she returns to her private life on 1 July.

On 13 May, Robredo announced that after her vice-presidential term expires on 30 June, she will launch the “Angat Buhay” NGO, which goal is to alleviate poverty in the poorest communities in the Philippines, similar to her office’s flagship anti-poverty program.

Knowing that the Office of the Vice President’s mandate is purely ceremonial, Robredo launched the Angat Buhay program to bring together the private and public sectors to address the needs of the poorest Filipinos living in the farthest areas in the country.

Unity

Rodriguez expressed that the incoming Marcos administration is open to appointing even members of the opposition, saying that the presidential front-runner’s call for unity is “not merely a campaign message.”

Marcos Jr., he revealed, is currently looking at “some names” who belong to the opposition and may consider them based on their “competency.”

“All of us belong to one party now — the Republic of the Philippines. Our symbol is the Philippine flag. We are considering those who love and respect our Constitution, those who recognize the flag, who have never attempted to overthrow the government,” he explained.

“Aside from unity, we need stability at this point in time in our government.

“It (unity) is not just a campaign messaging, he (Marcos Jr.) really meant it. It is coming from his heart,” he added.

Rodriguez pointed out that more than 31 million Filipinos have joined Marcos Jr. in his call for unity.

“Unity is the key to recovery. Let’s stay away from politics for now. There is time for that, in three years or six years’ time, in the senatorial elections, and 2028 presidential elections,” he noted.

“What do we have to do? Just rally behind our newly elected leader. Let’s help him as long as he is doing right,” he added.

He said the Filipino people should be the “first to condemn” Marcos Jr. if he is already working inefficiently as the country’s Chief Executive.

In his latest video blog, Marcos Jr. thanked the people who helped him during the campaign and vowed that he will not fail the Filipinos who trusted him and made him win the presidential race.

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