Davao Mayor Sara Duterte (left) and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of Inday Sara Facebook) 

MANILA – Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and vice presidential candidate, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, vowed to continue the reforms of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte said UniTeam will advocate only two things if elected -- no political color and continuous peace.

“We commit to continue the reforms started by the administration of President Duterte,” the younger Duterte said during a UniTeam event at the Arms Corporation of the Philippines (Armscor) office in Marikina City on Saturday afternoon.

Dadalhin namin ang buong sambayanan na wala pong kulay ng politika. Iisa lang po ang color, ang color ng magigiting at masisipag na mga Pilipino patungo po sa tuloy-tuloy na kaunlaran at pangalawa po ay ang mensahe ng kapayapaan (We will bring the whole nation with no political color. We will only have one color, the color of brave and courageous Filipinos toward continuous development and the second one, is the message of peace),” she said.

Among these reforms are the “Build, Build, Build” flagship program and fight against criminality, she added.

More support

Meanwhile, the Marcos-Duterte pair received another round of support from former members of the uniformed services.

On Saturday, the two groups of retired senior officers, including generals and non-commissioned officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) separately issued manifestos of support for the UniTeam tandem.

“We firmly believe the UniTeam tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will promote national unity, from the northern islands of Batanes, to the southernmost part of Tawi-Tawi,” read the manifesto For National Unity, For Peace, and For Inclusive Progress signed by at some 480 retired senior officers. “We laud the long-term plans of the UniTeam, which we believe will bring the Philippines back to its former glory.”

Among the signatories were former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ernesto de Leon, retired Marine commandant Major Gen. Edgardo Espinosa, retired Army officer Lt. Gen. Raul Urgello, and retired Maj. Gen. Eduardo Matillano and Rodrigo De Gracia of the PNP.

On the other hand, 380 non-commissioned officers said they believe Marcos and Duterte are the only ones who could continue the whole-of-nation approach in the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations.

The two groups handed their statements of support to Duterte and Marcos, who also inked the documents during the meeting facilitated by the group Next Gen for BBM-Sara.

No to candidates-CPP alliance

The groups likewise warned against any collaboration of candidates with enemies of the state, including the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“We denounce any move of any political party to collaborate with terrorist groups like the CPP-NPA and their affiliate organizations in order to gain political clout and win in any elections, whether national or local,” the senior officers’ manifesto read. “It is our firm belief that any alliance with the enemies of the state, whether by a sitting elected official or by a candidate for a national position, is tantamount to treason in its highest form.”

Duterte, a colonel in the Army reserve force, thanked the two groups and expressed hope they will win through their continued support.

UniTeam candidates were scheduled to hold a campaign rally at the Marikina River Park on Saturday night. (PNA)