MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday lashed back at his critics who said he is a lackey of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Duterte made the statement after recounting how only a few officials supported his presidential bid in 2016, which included the late strongman's eldest daughter and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.
"Ang suporta ko dito [sa Luzon], Imee Marcos pero hindi ako bata ni Marcos ha," he said during a speech at the Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drug Watch in Pampanga.
(My supporter here was Imee Marcos but I'm not Marcos' lackey.)
He was pertaining to criticisms that he was siding with the Marcoses when he pushed for the burial of the former dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He is also seen as supporting former Sen. Bongbong Marcos' electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
But on Thursday, Duterte said his ties with the former First Family just run deep.
"Ang tatay ko noon governor ng Davao. When Marcos won for the first time, he took in my father as one of his Cabinet member(s)," he said.
(My father was the Davao governor back then and when Marcos won for the first time, he took in my father as one of his Cabinet members.)
"Kasi sila bugokski, di naman nila alam kung ano ang storya... basta sulat nang sulat lang, bata ni Marcos... hindi ako bata kaya lang out of ano, alliances," he said.
(They're stupid, they don't know the whole story. They just write and write that I'm a Marcos lackey but I'm not. I just have alliances.)