Mayen Jaymalin, Ralph Edwin Villanueva – The Philippine Star
February 21, 2022 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest group is endorsing the UniTeam tandem of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) president Raymond Mendoza said the trade group chose to endorse Marcos and Duterte following a nationwide consultation with their members.
Mendoza said TUCP would make the formal endorsement of Marcos and Duterte within the week along with a list of senatorial candidates that the group has chosen to support.
TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the choice was a majority decision from workers in major industries such as service, agriculture and manufacturing sectors located in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Tanjusay said they conducted a series of online and hybrid face-to-face and combined caucuses which began late last year until last week.
“The vote advantage of Mr. Marcos and Ms. Duterte-Carpio and with those four other pairs of presidential and vice presidential aspirants was very wide. It was an overwhelming majority decision in all caucuses,” he added.
Labor leader and Partido ng Lakas ng Masa (PLM) presidential bet Leody de Guzman admitted that labor groups are divided and endorsing different candidates in the coming May 9 elections.
De Guzman, however, said he respects the decision of other trade groups to endorse another presidential bet instead of him, who came from the labor sector.
He added that he would continue holding street protests if Marcos wins the presidential race.
“A divided nation won’t cease to exist even if Marcos is calling for unity,” De Guzman said in Filipino during a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines last Friday.
‘Not evading handshakes’
Meanwhile, Marcos’ camp said he is “not evading” handshakes with supporters, after a viral video showed him visibly irate while in a campaign sortie.
The video showed Marcos seemingly avoiding handshakes with supporters during a sortie in Caloocan City.
In a statement, Marcos’ chief-of-staff Vic Rodriguez claimed that Marcos had a wound on his arm.
“(Marcos) was not evading handshakes, but he was avoiding (contact to) the wound in his arm near his pulse, which seemingly had infection,” Rodriguez said.