2022 Philippine Elections

Bongbong Marcos waiting for substitutions to finalize slate

Lian Buan
Bongbong Marcos waiting for substitutions to finalize slate

Presidential aspirant and former senator Bongbong Marcos visits Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia at the Cebu Provincial Capitol on October 22, 2021.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Even his running mate might depend on substitution

Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr will wait until the deadline of substitutions to announce his vice president and his senatorial slate.

“May mga nilagay kami sa listahan na para sa senador pero ‘yung iba hindi nag-file. Pero baka naman may nag-iisip na mag substitute pa. Pero ‘yun na lang hinihintay namin,” said Marcos in an interview with Cebu media on Friday, October 22, his first local trip aside from his hometown Ilocos Norte since filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

(We put some names on our list for senator but others didn’t file. So maybe the rest are still thinking of substituting, so we’re waiting for that.)

November 15 is the Commission on Elections or Comelec’s deadline for substitutions. House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez has filed bills to ban substitution unless the one who filed the COC dies or is disqualified.

Substitution seems to be the name of the game, with the fragmented ruling party PDP-Laban fielding Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, widely believed to just be a placeholder.

After his plan to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte as guest vice presidential candidate collapsed, Marcos said he’s now also waiting for substitution to fill that gap.

“Like I said during filing, ang original plan namin was to adopt for vice president si President [Rodrigo] Duterte pero hindi siya natuloy. We are waiting for November 15. Magiging important ang November 15,” said Marcos.

(Like I said during filing, our original plan was to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte for vice president, but that didn’t push through. So we are waiting for November 15, that date will be important.)

Marcos is the only major presidential aspirant without a senatorial slate, or even a vice president. All others had announced theirs, as their lists overlap with each other especially veteran reelectionists like Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero.

Marcos, who jumped ship from the Villars’ Nacionalista Party to the young Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), declined to name whom he was considering to be part of his slate, saying he doesn’t want to preempt his plans.

Marcos said he was still unsure if he could complete a slate of 12 for senators. Political analysts say the lack of a tandem or a slate at this point may not necessarily mean weakness for Marcos, citing his near win in 2016 even without traditional party lineup.

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Courting Cebu

Marcos visited the vote-rich Cebu province saying he planned to reinstate it as Philippine capital. It’s an important province, and one Marcos has to court because he lost there in 2016 to Vice President Leni Robredo.

Marcos got only 310,054 votes in the province, while Robredo got 817,052 votes.

The camp of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, whom Marcos paid courtesy call on, said the meeting was not an endorsement.

“I just informed and consulted with governor about my plans of what I will do in Cebu to campaign and also organize,” said Marcos. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.