MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos denied that she gave any monetary contribution to the campaign kitty of President Rodrigo Duterte during the election season.
"Wala namang katotohanan 'yan. Palabiro lang ang Presidente Duterte, pinapalundag niya tayong lahat, pati ako, napalundag eh," Governor Marcos told reporters in an interview on Monday, October 17, during the "Kailian March" outside the Supreme Court (SC).
(It's not true. President Duterte likes to make jokes to make us all jump in surprise, even I jumped.)
Marcos loyalists, led by the governor, have gathered outside the SC compound in Manila in a show of support for the planned burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The governor said she only helped Duterte by rallying for votes in the so-called "Solid North" provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. She even said she had a hard time gathering votes because two of Duterte's opponents are also considered Ilocanos: Senator Grace Poe and former vice president Jejomar Binay.
However, the governor is not listed in Duterte's Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
The petitioners protesting the planned Marcos burial at the Libingan filed a manifestation before the SC last Friday, October 14, urging the high court to look into the issue.
"It now appears that Marcos' burial at the Libingan is the payback for the payment he admitted receiving from Mrs Marcos," and that the "campaign promise was not one made generally to the electorate, but specifically to Imee and the Marcos family, in exchange for monetary support for his Presidential bid," said the petitioners, led by former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales, in a statement.
"This is clear and final proof that the decision to push for burial of Marcos in the Heroes' Cemetery – in flagrant violation of the Constitution and multiple – law is not anchored on any public interest," the petitioners added.
The SC is expected to release its decision on Marcos' hero's burial on Tuesday, October 18. – Rappler.com