PROMINENT Filipino-Chinese businessmen and retired generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) feted vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in separate forums on Tuesday.
Led by multi-billionaire Lucio Tan, chairman emeritus of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII), the Ilocano lawmaker was guest of honor during the meeting of the 160-member organization composed of renowned Filipino-Chinese businessmen and civic leaders all over the Philippines during its Leadership Forum in Binondo, the center of Filipino-Chinese trading in the country.
Aside from Tan, those in attendance included honorary presidents Alfonso Siy, Domingo Lee, Vicente Yu, Robin Sy, Francis Chua, Alfonso Cui and John Tan.
The group told the young Marcos that his late father and namesake had made it possible for many of their officers and members to stay in the country legally during his term when he issued several decrees on naturalization.
They said it was during his father’s rule that Filipino-Chinese relations became stronger when he supported export promotion, trade, agricultural exchange, education and other partnership programs during his term.
“The late President Marcos helped strengthen our ties with our neighbors in Southeast Asia and opened opportunities for many of us,” the group noted.
They wished Marcos, who was accompanied by senatorial aspirant Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, the best in his bid for the second top post of the land.
Marcos thanked the group and vowed to do everything to further spur development through trade and industry.
“We recognize the part you have played not only in the economic and cultural aspects but the whole Philippine society,” he said.
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday at a meeting in Makati City (Metro Manila), retired generals, colonels and other ranking officers of the AFP threw their “unequivocal support” behind Marcos vice presidential bid.
Led by retired AFP chief of staff Benjamin Defensor, others present were Alexander Yano, Roy Cimatu, Florencio Junio and Rene Samonte, among others.
“We are privileged to introduce to you the next Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Senator Bongbong Marcos!” Defensor declared to the roaring applause of the more than 200 people in attendance.
Defensor is the brother of Marcos’ presidential tandem Miriam Defensor -Santiago.
“I have never someone take care of my sister in the campaign and that is the reason why I am returning the favor,” he said.
Marcos thanked the retired military officers and urged them to join him in his movement of national unity.
“You are the only people in government who have pledged to lay their lives on the line and you have shown what unity can do for the country’s welfare and this is my very message to the Filipino people, that our nation can be great once again if only we forget about the divisiveness of politics and work together to give our people a progressive future,” he said.