2022 Philippine Elections

Marcos family ‘heartbroken’ over Duterte’s tirades

John Michael Mugas
Marcos family ‘heartbroken’ over Duterte’s tirades

In this 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte chats with then Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos during his visit in the wake of super typhoon 'Lawin' (Haima).

Ilocos Norte provincial government

'We are not the enemy,' Senator Imee Marcos tells the President

ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines – Senator Imee Marcos said her family was “absolutely heartbroken” at President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal attacks against her younger brother and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“The reality is, we are absolutely heartbroken by the almost violent reaction of the President,” the senator said during a press briefing on Tuesday, November 30, in her home province of Ilocos Norte.

“But we are not the enemy, that is very clear. We’ve been allies, we’ve been supporters, and it goes way back,” Imee added.

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The senator had earlier described the tandem of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte and Bongbong in the 2022 elections as a “marriage made in heaven.” 

But President Duterte greeted news of his daughter’s decision to run for the vice presidential post instead of the presidency, by pushing his long-time aide, now Senator Bong Go, to contest the country’s top executive post.

The Duterte patriarch then unleashed attacks against Bongbong, calling him spoiled and a weak leader. 

While lamenting Duterte’s remarks, Imee offered conciliatory words.

“President [Duterte’s] father was a distinguished member of my father’s cabinet. Really, we have been very grateful to the President for the many blessings that he has brought upon us, not only in Ilocos Norte but the entire country,” she said.

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Never-ending teleserye

Duterte’s outbursts may have been his surprised reaction over his daughter’s decision, Imee added.

Nagkaroon ng tampuhan, nabigla kay Mayora [Sara]. Sana maintindihan na lamang at tuloy tuloy na ipursigi na natin ito,” said Imee. (He may have been surprised and hurt by the mayor. I hope he can be more understanding so we can focus.)

The senator said their family was also hopeful of a favorable Commission on Elections ruling in the disqualification cases filed against Bongbong.

She said the family jokes about the 2022 elections as a never-ending television soap series.

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“Sana naman ay maganda ang closing episodes,” she said. (I hope for satisfactory closing episodes.)

The senator said the Bongbong-Sara Uniteam will soon come out with its senatorial slate. 

Marami kasing nagpapakamatay sumali so nag-iwan ng puwang. Buo na, so they will release in time,” she said. (Many were desparate to join so they left slots open. Now it’s full and they will release it in time.)

Only former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has been named so far as part of the Marcos-Duterte senatorial lineup.

During the press briefing, Imee endorsed the mayoral candidacy of incumbent Laoag City Vice Mayor Vicentito “Toto” Lazo against her cousin, incumbent Laoag Mayor Michael Marcos Keon.

The senator said she set aside blood ties in favor of upholding the interests and development potential of Ilocos Norte and Laoag City.

The camp of Keon had not yet released any statement in reaction to the endorsement of Imee of Lazo as of this writing.

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– Rappler.com

John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based fellow and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.