Cebu City: Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday started his 4-day sortie in vote-rich Cebu province by meeting 85 percent (69 out of 80) of the city’s barangay chairmen at the Cebu Country Club.
“I am running scared. I am never confident. I am not sure [if I will win],” Marcos told reporters here.
“To be presumptuous is the start of your downfall,” he said.
Cebu province has 1.8 million registered voters of which 630,000 are from this city.
“We still have seven weeks before Election Day. Anything can happen. We just have to reach out to the people and continue explaining our message of unity,” the senator from Ilocos Norte said.
Marcos is still statistically tied with frontrunner and fellow Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero while administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is catching up.
Marcos on Thursday passed through the depressed areas of Cebu City like Barangay Suba, Sawang, and Duljo-Fatima.
He was later welcomed by Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) president Philip Zatra when he had a meeting with the barangay chairmen.
Marcos then proceeded to the City Hall where he was received by Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella. Mayor Mike Rama, a member of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was out of town.
The 69 barangay chairmen who met Marcos are all Rama supporters.
Meanwhile, Marcos said he is not affected by some groups who are staging pickets where he is holding his campaign sortie.
“That’s the way it is. There will emerge people who will oppose you. That is true to any candidate. That is the reason why we have election and why we are campaigning,” he said.
“I am enthusiastic and encouraged because of the warm welcome the Cebuanos have shown upon my arrival. We are thankful to Mayor Rama and the people of Cebu who were the first ones who came to Tacloban City to extend their help when our place was struck by Typhoon Yolanda. Thank you so much, people of Cebu,” he said.
Marcos’ mother, former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, now representative of Ilocos Norte, is from Tacloban City.
Marcos was elated when Cebuano media invited him to make Cebu as his base if ever he wins the May 9 polls.
This city is home to Malacañang Cebu, now a white elephant, an edifice put up by former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to impress upon the people of southern Philippines, particularly the center of the Visayas region, that they are not forgotten by Manila.
There are 53 towns and component cities in Cebu. The highly urbanized city of Lapu-Lapu has 188,815 registered voters, Talisay City has 120,240, Toledo City (103, 658) and Mandaue City (189, 712).
After Cebu, the next vote-rich provinces are Pangasinan with 1.7 million, Laguna (1.67 million), Negros Occidental (1.66 million), Bulacan (1.64 million), Batangas (P1.5 million), Rizal (1.4 million), Nueva Ecija (1.3 million), and Pampanga (P1.2 million). Metro Manila has 6.2 million registered voters.