Imee Marcos: Imelda wants to campaign for Bongbong

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2022 06:00 PM

Former first lady Imelda Marcos ABS-CBN News/file
Former first lady Imelda Marcos greets supporters in Manila on July 1, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — Imelda Marcos, the 92-year-old matriarch of the Marcos clan, is raring to campaign for her son, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., according to Bongbong’s sister, Senator Imee Marcos. 

“Nagpupumiglas, gustong-gustong sumali sa lahat ng rally,” Imee said during a Pandesal forum Thursday organized by the Kamuning Bakery.

“Kami ang nag-aawat eh papaano talaga namang matanda na siya. May comorbity na rin pero talagang buhay niya ang kampanya. Kaya buhay na buhay. Gustong-gustong sumali,” she added.

Imee said they had to stop her mother from going to crowded places.

“Pero ayaw paawat talaga naman. At siya ang sasabihin kong pinakamagaling na pulitiko sa aming pamilya. Natural sa kanya e. Mahilig talaga sa tao. Naiintindihan niya yung iba’t ibang tampo, yung kiliti ng iba. Siya ang talagang very sensitive and very people-wise. Ang taas-taas ng EQ (emotional intelligence) ng nanay ko, ibang lebel. Kaya kailangan namin siya palagi,” she explained.

Imelda was convicted in November 2018 of 7 counts of graft for creating private organizations in Switzerland from 1968 to 1986 where hundreds of millions of public funds were funneled.

She was sentenced to a jail time of between 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each count.

But she is out on bail after the Sandiganbayan granted her plea to post bail despite her absence during her sentencing.

Imelda cited “multiple organ infirmities” as the excuse for her absence but she was photographed during the birthday party of Imee hours after her conviction, with then-House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Davao City Mayor and now vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio. 

An unjustifiable absence during promulgation of judgment could lead to forfeiture of the right to avail of legal remedies under Philippine rules on criminal procedure.

BONGBONG’S CABINET MEMBERS

In the same forum, Imee said many have been “auditioning” for a spot in Marcos Jr.'s Cabinet if he wins the presidential race.

“Ang dami-dami yatang nag-au-audition na maging Cabinet [member]. Ang gusto ko sana, sana ‘di na mauwi sa kung sinu-sinong kaibigan, kabarilan, ka-chikahan. Sana, for a change, ang pipiliin kagalingan na lamang. Katapatan. Sana ganun na lang ano,” she said.

“Marami talagang dati ayaw pumasok sa gobyerno, ngayon nagbo-volunteer…Pero wala pang nakatakda,” she added.

But the senator said she’s more concerned about her brother’s first 100 days in office, citing recent surveys showing Bongbong ahead in the presidential race.

“Ang mas mahalaga para sa akin ay yung first 100 days dahil nakakatakot din itong overwhelming support. Sabihin na natin, tuwing magsu-survey, sinasabi na magiging first majority president daw,” she said.

“Kaya nga lang, ang problema dun, umaasa ang mga tao ng himala. At sabi nga sa pelikula ng ating minamahal na Ate Guy, si Nora Aunor, “walang himala,” she explained.

Imee acknowledged the next president will have a tough job.

“Kayod ito, magiging napakahirap ang susunod na administrasyon. Napakahirap ng trabaho niya at yung first 100 days dapat kaagad-agad makakita ang tao ng pag-asa sa kabila ng hirap na ‘yan,” she said.

Bongbong is campaigning on a “unity” platform with a “Babangon Muli” or “we will rise again” slogan.

But the Marcos family have been criticized for unpaid estate tax originally worth P23 billion in 1997 but has now ballooned to P203 billion due to penalties and interests.

Bongbong himself is facing disqualification cases before the Comelec over his non-filing of tax returns conviction from 1982 to 1985.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has confirmed sending a demand letter to the Marcos family in December last year for the payment of the estate tax liability while the Presidential Commission on Good Government told Aksyon Demokratiko of presidential contender Manila Mayor Isko Moreno that the BIR’s 1993 final assessment on the unpaid estate tax had become “final and executory” in 1997.

An online petition has been launched urging the BIR to sue Marcos for the unpaid estate tax and has gathered more than 18,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

Other presidential candidates have called on Bongbong to settle the tax liability.

ABS-CBN News tried to ask Imee about the petition and the unpaid estate taxes but the question was not asked by the moderator.

The senator previously declined to comment on the issue.

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