This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived in Davao City on Wednesday, February 7, to grace numerous events of the administration, his first visit to the bailiwick of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte since the two traded accusations regarding drug use.
Marcos is the guest of honor for the inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply project, as well as the 125th founding anniversary of the Department of Transportation.
The trip is notable because it comes just over a week after Duterte led a candlelight prayer rally to oppose the charter change being pushed under the Marcos administration.
In that event, Duterte warned Marcos of being ousted in office just like his dictator-father if he continues pushing for the amendment or revision of the Constitution.
Duterte – notorious for linking personalities to the narcotics ring even without evidence – also claimed that he once saw Marcos’ name on the government’s drug watch list.
Marcos fired back a day later, accusing Duterte of continued fentanyl use, and blaming the drug for his erratic behavior.
Marcos and the former president’s daughter Sara ran as a tandem in the 2022 polls, and their alliance dubbed as “Uniteam” resulted in a landslide election victory.
Since then, the rift between the two families has become more apparent, amid political developments that have been interpreted by observers as disadvantageous to the Duterte family.
These include Congress’ decision to junk Vice President Sara’s request for P650 million in confidential funds, and Marcos’ statement that the government was studying the possibility of joining the International Criminal Court, which is investigating Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war.
Mindanao secession call
This is also the first visit of the President since Duterte floated the idea of an independent Mindanao, which he thought of achieving by gathering signatures.
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez – a Duterte ally – is among the loudest voices in favor of the idea of Mindanao secession.
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said on Tuesday, February 6, that the government has not monitored concrete efforts on the ground seeking to materialize the secession of Mindanao, and added that Marcos was not worried.
In the past week though, numerous agencies and Cabinet officials have released statements rejecting the call for a separate Mindanao.
Abalos said there was no direct order from the President to issue statements on the matter. – Rappler.com