2022 Philippine Elections

Duterte rejects alliance with Lakas because ‘Marcos is a weak leader’

Lian Buan
Duterte rejects alliance with Lakas because ‘Marcos is a weak leader’

PRESIDENT'S SPEECH. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the inauguration of eight integrated seaport development projects in the province of Mindoro on November 18, 2021.

PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

This further unravels what was supposed to be an alliance between Duterte and Marcos

President Rodrigo Duterte turned up the heat on presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, calling the son of the dictator “a weak leader” who’s the reason why he wouldn’t want an alliance with Lakas-CMD.

“No, I cannot because andiyan si Marcos eh, hindi ako bilib diyan, he’s really a weak leader. Totoo ‘yan, hindi ako naninira ng tao, kasi spoiled child, only son, of course he can talk, he delivers English articulate, nag-aral kasi kung saan-saan, pero kung sabihin mo may crisis, ganun, he’s a weak leader at may bagahe siya,” said Duterte in a speech to local leaders in Oriental Mindoro on Thursday, November 18, but aired only on state-run channels late afternoon Friday, November 19.

(No I cannot because Marcos is there, I’m not impressed by him, he’s really a weak leader. That’s true, I’m not trying to bash anyone, but he’s a spoiled child, only son, of course he can talk, he delivers articulate English, because he studied in different places, but if there’s a crisis, he’s a weak leader and he has baggage.)

Although Marcos is with the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), his running mate is presidential daughter Mayor Sara Duterte who had recently shifted to Lakas-CMD.

The President was asked if PDP-Laban would have a coalition with Lakas-CMD, which he answered by citing Marcos as the reason why he wouldn’t prefer it.

Malacañang belatedly aired this question-and-answer portion from Thursday, the same day where the President said in another event that a presidential candidate uses cocaine.

Although Duterte did not name the candidate he was accusing of drug use, the President said this candidate had a notable name and a notable father, references that fit Marcos. Early Friday, Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez told radio DZRH they “do not feel alluded to” in the cocaine accusation, and that they “respect the President.”

In that speech where cocaine was mentioned, Duterte also called the candidate a “weak leader.”

Rappler sought comment on the latest statement that specifically named Marcos, but Rodriguez has yet to respond.

In the belatedly-aired speech, Duterte also again referenced this supposedly cocaine-using candidate.

In endorsing Senator Bong Go, his longtime aide, for president, Duterte said: “‘Yung kalaban niya ngayon, dalawa na lang sila sa political horizon, nagtataka rin ako kung bakit suddenly naging fascinated ang tao.”

(His opponent, there are only the two of them in the political horizon, I wonder why suddenly people are fascinated with him.)

“I cannot mention his name kasi wala naman ako dun, but as mayor, alam ko na ‘yung mga mayaman sa Davao pati ‘yan siya, humihithit ng cocaine. Cocaine lang naman, wala akong sinabing shabu. Kaya kung mag-gamble kayo, basta nasabi ko na sa inyo,” Duterte said.

(I cannot mention his name because I was not there, but as mayor, I know that the rich people in Davao and this candidate were using cocaine. Just cocaine, I didn’t say shabu. But if you still want to take a gamble, at least I already told you.)

Duterte’s tirades against a supposedly cocaine-using candidate puts into question the legitimacy of his bloody drug war, and has put his government on the spot – why is this candidate not being investigated when thousands of others have been killed without charges?

Politically, however, this further unravels what was supposed to be an alliance between Duterte and Marcos, widely seen and considered as administration bets. Marcos even wanted Duterte to be his vice president.

The President instead ran for senator under PDDS (Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan), but only because PDP-Laban is embroiled in a legitimacy battle, and Duterte said he remains to be with PDP-Laban.

Duterte was reportedly disappointed by the decision of his daughter Sara to settle for vice president, instead of running for president. He earlier accused Marcos of orchestrating the deal, but to this day, the Marcos camp has not engaged in the word war – a strategy of silence commonly seen among front-runners.

Rodriguez, in the Friday interview with DZRH, brushed aside analysis that Marcos’ early rise in surveys would make him vulnerable to a later crash, like former vice president Jejomar Binay in 2016 and former presidential candidate Manny Villar in 2010.

“Sa tingin ko personally doon sa paglabas ng tao, ‘yung outpouring of support kay BBM, kakaiba ang halalang ito. Iba ang kanilang reception, mulat na ang bayan at hindi na tinatanggap ang lumang kuwentong paninira lamang kay Bongbong Marcos,” said Rodriguez.

(I personally think that the outpouring of support for Marcos makes this elections different. Their reception is different, the country has become more aware and people no longer accept the old propaganda against Bongbong 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.