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Bongbong Marcos, still popular among overseas Ilocanos

IMG_3476 bongbong (167x250) There is a need for serious study by the government on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, says Philippine Senator Bongbong Marcos

Ranked 5th among the viable candidates for the Philippine presidential elaction in 2016, Philippine Senator Ferdinand  Bongbong Marcos,Jr  visited Sydney last Friday 22 May as guest speaker during the 25th  Anniversary celebration of the Ilocano Association of Australia (IAA), an  engagement added to his official one-day visit in Melbourne  talking with Australian officials about PublicPrivate Partnership or PPL  initiatives.

Pupularly  called by his Filipino style term of endearment, Bongbong  still attracts the attention of many, particularly  among the Ilocanos or Filipino constituents of Northern Luzon in the Philippines, the one time political bailiwick of his dad and  20-year chief executive of the Philippines  the late Mr. Ferdinand Marcos.

After addressing the association, the  principal preoccupation of the  evening at the $100  per plate anniversary  ball at the Sheraton at the Park in Sydney, was a lengthy photo shooting with the guest of honour hopping from table to table to accommodate requests by guests.

Bongbong  Marcos said it was the fifth year that the IAA association had been inviting him. Ever  since, there was simply no slot in his busy schedule as senator.

In  his address to the IAA, Bongbong Marcos said there had been lack of serious study by the Philippine government on the controversial Bangsamoro Basic  Law in the Philippines  which underpins the proposed establishment of an autonomous government  to be supported by the rebel group Moro  Islamic Liberation Front of MILF.

IMG_3518 bong2(2) (250x167)
Ilocano achievers

As chair of the Senate Committee  on Local Government, Mr Marcos said had been busy  and practically  living on his travelling  luggage holding hearings after hearings in Mindanao, about the BBL issue.

Like most Philippine legislators, Mr Marcos  attached great significance to the proposed  agreement  between the rebels and the Philippine government, to be promoted by the Bangsamoro Basic Law  to usher in lasting peace and development in Mindanao in the Philippines.

Bongbong has completed more than twenty years active service in Philippine government, starting as a congressman, then vice governor and  later governor for three terms of the province of Ilocos Norte, and finally as Senator running on his second term.

He ranked fifth as  possible “presidentiable”  for the  election in May 2016 in an Asia-Pulse  survey, behind Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator  Grace Poe, Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Francis Escudero.

Bongbong Marcos  founded the Confederation of Ilocano Association Inc. in the Philippines.

The Ilocano Association of Australia or IAA is headed by   Dr.Elsa Collado,  twice president of the peak organisation PCC-NSW and a veteran  community leader.  IAA was established on  5 August 1990 and is one of the largest regional groups in Australia.

IAA has produced outstanding community leaders who  later became leaders of the state  umbrella body  PCC-NSW and the national peak body  Filipino Communities  Council of Australia or FILCCA.

Honoured with respective awards during the 25th anniversary were Mrs Malyn Chun (Education), Dr Raul Dacanay Amor (Medicine), Atty Catherine Roc Andres (Law & Community Service), Ric de Vera (Community Service), Lilia Mackinon (Community Service), Dr Corazon Francisco (Medicine), Evelyn Opilas (Journalism), Manny Villon (Real Estate and Industry), Dr Mars Cavestany (Theatre) and Jimmy Lopez (Community Service).

Also acknowledged were IAA presidents since its founding, namely Malyn Chun, Catherine Andres, Mellie Banan, Alex del Prado, and Elsa Collado.and Emily Rudd.