MANILA - Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday confirmed that she convinced Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio to run as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s running mate in last year's national elections.
In an event, Marcos affirmed Duterte-Carpio's narration of the events that led to her vice-presidency.
"Totoo lahat ng sinabi ni Vice President Sara, subalit hindi ko na inisip na angkinin pa o pag-usapan pa dahil ang mahalaga nanalo naman ang dalawa na malalapit sa akin. Ang aking kapatid at ang kinakapatid ko na turing si Inday Sara," the senator said.
Duterte-Carpio in an event on Wednesday narrated Sen. Marcos' role in convincing her to run for vice president and her decision-making process, and how the senator coined the tandem's moniker of UniTeam.
"So tumakbo si President Bongbong Marcos and then natapos na, sarado na yung filing of candidacy ... I think it was after or some 5 days after nagtext sa akin si Sen. Imee Marcos minessage niya ako and she said pwede bang ikaw na lang ang tumakbo ng vice president?" the eldest daughter of former President Rodrigo Duterte said.
"I told her let me just talk to my mother and my family about running for vice president and then kinausap ko yung pamilya. It was very important to me na makuha ko yung suporta ng nanay ko and when she gave that support, she gave me her all out support, bumalik ako kay Sen. Imee, I said na pwede ko ba kayong makausap ni Pres. Bongbong. So si Sen. Imee and Sen. Bongbong, we talked online lang," she recalled.
Duterte-Carpio's speech mirrored her published statement rebuking a public statement by Cavite congressman Elpidio Barzaga, who credited House Speaker Martin Romualdez for "tremendously helping in pushing" for her vice presidential candidacy.
Barzaga claimed that Romualdez became close to the Vice President because he was among those who convinced her to run for the post under the UniTeam ticket. The House Speaker is a first cousin of Sen. Imee and President Marcos Jr.
He made the statement due to Duterte's remark in a speech last Monday, where she mentioned she will no longer mention the President's middle initial "R", which is Romualdez.
He also referred to the Vice President's social media post wherein Duterte-Carpio reportedly posted a cryptic message on her social media accounts which read, "In your ambition, do not be tambaloslos."
Tambaloslos is a "mythical creature with a large mouth and penis found in Visayan, Bicolano and Mindanao folklore", Barzaga's statement said.
Netizens, meanwhile, dug up Duterte-Carpio's speech back in June 2022, where she thanked Romualdez for his efforts as her campaign manager.
"I’d like to personally thank publicly thank Cong. Martin Romualdez for taking me in, in Lakas-CMD and accepting the challenge to be one of my two campaign managers during the last election," she said in her speech in Romualdez's hometown in Tacloban, where she was a guest at his oath-taking as congressman.
Duterte-Carpio was accepted into Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) in 2022 to be the party's vice presidential candidate.
She quit Lakas-CMD came after rumors of an alleged House coup supposedly orchestrated by Pampanga 2nd District Representative and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo surfaced last May.
Arroyo, a close ally of Duterte-Carpio, was demoted to deputy speaker from senior deputy speaker. The former President repeatedly denied the alleged coup, blasting reports that it "had the blessings" of First Lady Liza Marcos.
Romualdez himself slammed alleged attempts to destabilize the House of Representatives, saying that the lower chamber was "in order."
Duterte-Carpio left the Lakas-CMD, saying her public service cannot be "poisoned by political toxicity or undermined by execrable political power play."