UniTeam eyes law enforcement upgrade; Sara still nixing debates

The UniTeam tandem of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte vowed on Saturday to strengthen law enforcement in the country if they win in the May 9 elections.

HEART AS ONE. Vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte forms a hand heart with presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as their UniTeam met with various groups in Paranaque City on Saturday. Ver Noveno

Vice presidential candidate Duterte, meanwhile, stood firm on her decision to go on with her campaign without attending any debates.

“I’ve already decided that I will do this campaign without joining debates. I leave it up to our countrymen to decide on who to choose as vice president given the direction of my campaign,” the President’s daughter told reporters on the sidelines of her meet-and-greet with multi-sectoral groups in BF Homes, Parañaque.

“We will let you know if we will change our decision or not. But as of this very moment, the decision is to conduct this campaign without joining debates,” the Davao mayor added when asked if there is a chance that she will change her mind.

In late February, Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, spokesperson of the Lakas-CMD vice-presidential candidate, said Duterte would instead woo voters on the campaign trail.

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Duterte’s statement on law enforcement came during her meet-and-greet with various sectoral groups at Marymount Academy Gym, J. Villaroman St., Classic Homes, BF Homes, in Parañaque City organized by Rep. Joy Tambunting and former Rep. Gus Tambunting, who is running for Congress.

“All because everyone (Filipinos) wants a peaceful life not only here in our country but all over the world and that is the commitment of UniTeam,” Duterte said.

Duterte thanked Parañaque City officials and residents for the warm welcome her group received and for their expression of support.

Though they are grouped under the UniTeam, Duterte is seeking the vice presidency under Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats, while Marcos is running under Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).

Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez, who accompanied Duterte, expressed elation over the vigorous and enthusiastic reception they received.

HEART AS ONE. Lakas-CMD President and UniTeam campaign manager Martin Romualdez also answers questions from the media during the sortie. Ver Noveno

“We are happy, we were well received here in Parañaque,” Romualdez told reporters in an ambush interview.

It is such kinds of welcome and support that would propel the BBM-Sara tandem higher in surveys in the days ahead, Romualdez said.

During the meet-greet, Parañaque City Rep. Joy Tambunting appealed to her constituents to support the UniTeam tandem.

“I believe that our vice president has to be a woman… to my beloved constituents here in Paranaque, I ask you, please support our beloved vice president, Sara Duterte,” Tambunting told her constituents during the meet-and-greet.

Her husband Gus, who is seeking a congressional comeback, echoed her appeal.

Duterte and Marcos paid a courtesy call on Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez at the Olivarez College Gymnasium.

The UniTeam was scheduled late afternoon Saturday to hold a grand rally at the Aseana City, Bradco Avenue, Corner Diokno Avenue, Parañaque City.

In another development, as the world celebrates National Women’s Month, Sara Duterte honored Filipino women and underscored their contributions to society.

“Let us honor women who chose the pathway to empowerment. Let us honor women who are our source of strength, inspiration, and love. Let us honor the women in our lives who made us who we are today — for all the lessons and the blessings that they left us. Let us honor ourselves,” Duterte said.

Duterte’s statement was echoed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who also paid tribute to what he termed as the incredible contributions women have made to global communities, particularly Filipino women have been at the frontlines in the response to COVID-19.

“This is also an opportune time to show our respects and admiration to all women of the Philippines for their resilience and leadership during the pandemic. Filipino women have been at the frontlines in the response to COVID-19.”

“Women-dominated occupations, such as health professionals, have played an enormous role in efforts to flatten the curve of infection and position the country for economic recovery,” said Velasco.

Speaking during the online Women 2022 Entrepreneurship Summit of non-profit organization ‘Go Negosyo’ through the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship at the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, Duterte cited the “countless women leading the way, with power and in power. Women are everywhere, and everywhere women are making history and meaningful changes.”

Regarded as an influential woman and recognized as a top-performing local government official, Mayor Sara has built landmark projects for women who often are not afforded the same opportunities as men.

She stressed that among her priorities is addressing the community’s lack of economic opportunities for women.

Duterte took pride in Davao City’s landmark project “Mag Negosyo Ta Day (MTD)” owing to women’s big “significance in development.”

MTD is a program for women to address gender inequality in the labor and economic sector in Davao City.

Women, she said, have now reached greater heights and continue to occupy influential positions in society.

Meanwhile, Velasco said the leadership of the House of Representatives will continue to support all efforts toward gender equality and all opportunities for women to claim their rightful place in positions of leadership.

“We strongly believe that the country will be more resilient in the face of any crisis when women work side by side with men in all roles, including at the highest levels of decision-making.”

“We couldn’t agree more with the statement that when women have the opportunity to raise their voices and achieve their full potential, it strengthens our families, our communities, and our economy,” Velasco said.

He added: “These annual celebrations are an important reminder of how far the world has come in terms of gender equality and recognizing the role and importance of women in society.”

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