Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 23) – The United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO), which helped overthrow the dictatorial regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., is now supporting the presidential candidacy of the late dictator’s son, Bongbong Marcos.
UNIDO officially re-emerged as a regional political party on Saturday, about two weeks before the May 9 elections. During an event at the Manila Yacht Club, he announced his support for Marcos and his running mate, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte.
Senator Francis Tolentino, one of the party’s honorary administrators, says UNIDO’s revival is a response to the call for “unity”, which is the main theme of the Marcos-Duterte duo’s campaign .
“Isinusulong po natin ang muling pagkabuhay ng UNIDO dahil naniniwala tayo into ganung tema of pagkakaisa,” Tolentino said in a press release issued by his office.
“Pagkatapos po ng halalan na ito, sa Calabarzon, sa Southern Tagalog mayroon pong UNIDO, and UNIDO will be part of the political mainstream, helping the next administration. With a bit of luck, [it’s] BBM-Sara,” he added.
[Translation: We are reviving UNIDO because we believe in that theme of unity. After this election, in Calabarzon, in Southern Tagalog, there will be UNIDO, and it will be part of the political mainstream, helping the next administration. Hopefully, it’s BBM-Sara.]
In the snap elections of 1986, UNIDO presented former President Corazon Aquino and its founder, former Vice President Salvador Laurel, as candidates against the administrative tandem of Marcos Sr. and Arturo Tolentino.
The Electoral Commission (Comelec) declared Marcos Sr. and Tolentino the winners, based on results that were allegedly “rigged”. Within two weeks, protesters staged a peaceful revolt at EDSA, now known as the People Power Revolution, which led to the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.
Last year, Comelec accredited UNIDO as a political entity based in the southern region of Tagalog.
In addition to Tolentino, senatorial aspirants Robin Padilla and Gilbert Teodoro, re-elected senator Joel Villanueva, as well as AGIMAT party list representative and Bacoor mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla attended Saturday’s event. Also present was the President of UNIDO, José Laurel IV, nephew of the founding president of the party.