Duterte: Voters may elect an Ilocano in Malacañang

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2022 07:23 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday told voters in Ilocos Sur that they may elect an Ilocano leader in Malacañang, noting the fact that many of his Cabinet members hail from the Ilocos Region. 

In his speech at the inauguration of the Narvacan Farmer’s Market in Ilocos Sur, a bailiwick of the Marcos family, Duterte joked that only a few in his Cabinet hailed from the Visayas or Mindanao. 

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., the son of the former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., is only the Ilocano candidate running for the country's top post in the May 9 elections. 

Duterte earlier described the late dictator's son as a "weak leader". 

"In my Cabinet, 4 o 3 na lang kaming Bisaya na naiwan. Puro Ilocano na, kaya ibigay ko na itong isang buwan aalis na ako sa Malacañang, mamili na kung sinong Ilokano ang ilagay ninyo doon," Duterte said.

"You should not be surprised, mga kabarkada ko Ilocano, dormitoryo eh. Dito naman sa pagka-Presidente ko, yung mga retired, sila Esperon, lahat ng military kinuha ko. Almost a third of them are in the Cabinet ko," he added. 

He did not elaborate.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon are among the Ilocanos in Duterte's Cabinet. 

Duterte last week said he has yet to endorse his preferred successor, after his faction in PDP-Laban failed to field any standard bearer for the May elections. 

Duterte later said that he would be happy to “transfer his power to whoever the people would elect as President."

In an interview aired on state TV last week, the Chief Executive, whose daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is running for vice president, said he would like to stay neutral as much as possible.

Duterte-Carpio is also the adopted vice-presidential bet of Marcos Jr.'s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. 

Duterte's long-time aide, Sen. Christopher Go, earlier filed a certificate of candidacy as the substitute standard-bearer of a different party, the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).

In December though, Go withdrew from the presidential race, leaving Duterte without an anointed successor. 

— with reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC