By Beting Laygo Dolor, Editor
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to have completely cut his ties with the Marcos family this week, particularly presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom he said was not worthy of the presidency.
The president warned his followers not to vote for the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, while still endorsing Marcos Jr.’s running mate, his daughter Sara.
Instead, the president said his followers should vote for Senator Bong Go, who is running for president under the Pederalisimo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, instead of the Cusi-wing of the PDP-Laban.
Mr. Duterte even said that it was upon his prodding that Go agreed to run for president.
In a Facebook video interview, the president is quoted as saying in the vernacular that if his people still respected him, they should not vote for Marcos Jr because “he is a liar.”
He also said that the Marcos family was allegedly a bunch of thieves.
Last week, the president also said he could not support Marcos Jr because the former senator was “pro-communist,” as was opposition presidential contender Leni Robredo.
Over the weekend, the video interview by the blogger known as Banat By showed Mr. Duterte saying he would not support Marcos because “I am for Bong (Go).”
The president said he could not support another presidential bet, Senator Manny Pacquiao, who sought his backing “for the sake of Mindanao.” He also contradicted the claim of the boxer-turned-senator on who asked for their one-on-one meeting, saying it was the Pacquiao camp that had been long asking for their face-to-face meeting that finally took place last week.
Pacquiao is the official presidential candidate of the Koko Pimentel wing of the PDP-Laban.
The video not only went viral, but led to an exchange of words between the so-called DDS or Diehard Duterte Supporters, on one hand, and the BBM or Bongbong Marcos loyalists, on the other.
The president reiterated his support for his former executive assistant Go when he met with some 100 congressmen for dinner in Malacanang on Tuesday, November 16.
While thanking the lawmakers for all the support they had given his administration’s legislative programs, the president then asked them to support the Bong Go-Sara Duterte tandem in the 2022 polls.
With the president’s endorsement of Go-Duterte, the Cusi-wing of the administration PDP-Laban is left with no candidate for the two top posts up for grabs next year.
The Go camp said that technical reasons prevented him from running under the party that catapulted then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency in 2016.
The camp of Sara Duterte, however, said that the party of her father had tried but failed to set up a Marcos-Duterte team up.
Marcos Jr. is running under the little known Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. In the absence of an official bet for vice president, the party adopted Sara Duterte as the running mate of Marcos Jr.
The party, which earlier said it would announce its senatorial line-up this week, did not do so and is said to be adopting a senate slate comprised entirely of guest candidates.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections will begin hearings on the disqualification proceedings against Marcos Jr. before the end of the month.