By ALFRED GABOT
Editor in Chief
DAVAO CITY/MANILA – It’s official: Davao City Mayor and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio have joined forces with presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to ensure their victory in next year’s national elections for the top two posts of the land.
Both Duterte-Carpio and Marcos said they are running in tandem despite the fact that Duterte-Carpio is running under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) of former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Fidel V. Ramos while Marcos is under the banner of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte was reported to be fuming because of the decision of her daughter to gun for the number 2 post despite leading presidential surveys.
But the Davao mayor explained that she had sought out support of the administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for her but the party, she said, turned her down.
The lawyer-mayor’s claim was denied by presidential aspirant Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go, the PDP-Laban candidate for VP, before shifting to another party, the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), as presidential bet, adding he will ask the party the clarify the matter.
Go, however, said he was wishing Mayor Sara well on her election bid, reiterating that he personally supports her candidacy for vice president.
“As I have said earlier, kung ako lang ang tatanungin, siya ang aking sinusuportahan sa pagka-Bise Presidente,” he said.
With the development, President Duterte said he was not supporting the presidential run of Marcos or former ally Sen. Manny Pacquiao and is committed to back only his longtime aide Sen. Bong Go.
“Hindi talaga ako magsuporta sa kanya (Pacquiao). Hindi rin ako magsuporta kay Marcos… Basta ako kay Bong (I am not supporting him, I am also not supporting Marcos… I am backing Bong.)” the President said.
In a meeting with some 120 lawmakers in Malacanang, the President reportedly urged them to support Go and Mayor Sara. There was no official confirmation on the matter at press time.
The President over the weekend said he was displeased with his daughter’s candidacy for the No. 2 job, since she has been leading surveys for the presidency. Duterte reportedly blamed her decision on the Marcos camp, which confirmed that she would be his running-mate as their adopted candidate for VP.
Meanwhile, a third petition for the disqualification of Marcos as presidential candidate was filed by martial law victims and human rights advocates before the Commission on Elections. Marcos shrugged off the petitions, saying they are “nuisance.”
Eighteen people, including Bonifacio Ilagan, Saturnino Ocampo, Maria Carolina Araullo, and members of the group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang, were among those who signed and filed the new petition.
The first plea to cancel Marcos’ COC was raffled off to the Comelec’s second division which has called for a conference on the case on November 26.
In a 59-page petition, they called on the Comelec to either disqualify Marcos or cancel his certificate of candidacy (COC).
The petitioners said Marcos’ conviction for failing to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 already “perpetually disqualifies” him from running for any public office.
They also noted that Marcos made “false material representations” in his (COC) by declaring that he was never been found guilty of any offense which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office. His false statement, they said, is “more than sufficient ground” for the Comelec to declare him ineligible to join the presidential race.
In announcing her teamup with Marcos, Mayor Sara said in a video posted on her Facebook account: “Ang aking partido ay nakipag-alyansa at humingi ng suporta para kay Bongbong Marcos at para sa akin matapos kong tanggapin ang inyong hamon at panawagan. Tinanggihan ito ng PDP at naiintindihan natin ito (Our party made an alliance and sought support for myself and Bongbong Marcos after accepting the challenge to run. PDP-Laban rejected this and we understand it).”
“Pero gusto ko lamang na linawin — walang pangalan na sinisira o dinudungisan, walang sinasagasaan, walang inaagrabyado, inaaway, pinapaiyak o inaapi (But I want to clarify, we are not ruining anybody’s name, nor are we making anybody cry),” she added.
Despite this, the presidential daughter appealed to the public to continue supporting the Duterte administration.