MANILA, Philippines – Two politicians eyeing a possible Senate candidacy in 2019 joined President Rodrigo Duterte at the Palarong Pambansa 2018 opening ceremony. (IN PHOTOS: The colorful parade at Palarong Pambansa 2018)
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former senator Jinggoy Estrada showed up on Sunday, April 15, in Ilocos Sur. Duterte was onstage while the two were seated in the front row.
Duterte acknowledged Marcos and Estrada, as well as Department of Education and provincial officials, in his opening speech.
The two also joined the photo opportunity with the President. At first, Estrada was standing a bit farther from Duterte. After some time, Marcos was seen calling Estrada to come nearer her and the President.
Estrada then bowed his head while shaking Duterte's hand. Marcos and Estrada were seen laughing with the President onstage.
Estrada earlier said he would run for the Senate in 2019, hopefully under the administration slate. If there would be no slot for him, he said he would run as an independent candidate but would still be supportive of Duterte's policies.
Marcos has been going around the country, campaigning for a "Marcos in the Senate" in case one of them runs for senator next year. Her brother, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, still has a case pending with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal over the results of the 2016 vice presidential polls.
Both Estrada and Marcos are known to have ties with Duterte and have enjoyed benefits under his administration.
Estrada was released on bail after being jailed for 3 years over plunder and graft charges linked to the pork barrel scam.
The Marcos family, meanwhile, finally got what they have long been wishing for, after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in a clandestine manner. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com