MANILA (UPDATE 3) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday claimed Sen. Imee Marcos is eyeing the vice presidency in 2022 with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as running-mate.
"Si Imee, ganito ang laro n’yan, pinupuntahan niya si Mayor Duterte sa Davao, hoping na magtakbo ‘yon, siya ang maging bise," he said in a taped speech that aired on Tuesday.
(Imee's play is she goes to Mayor Duterte in Davao hoping the latter will run and she would be vice president.)
But the President said of his daughter, "Hindi naman tatakbo, sabi niya."
(She said she will not run.)
DAUGHTER DENIES PA'S REMARK
But Duterte-Carpio denied her father's statement, saying, "Talks or meetings with Sen Imee for VP never happened."
"Ganun, na promote ako?" Sen. Marcos told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
She did not respond to questions clarifying whether or not she was running to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.
Imee, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, earlier said her brother, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. would be "honored" to be Duterte-Carpio's running mate.
"Everything's possible but I supposed the most obvious thing is if the Dutertes have the solid south, we’re assumed to have the solid north. Parang marriage made in heaven 'yan (It's like a marriage made in heaven)," she told ANC's Headstart on August 26.
The potential Sara-Imee tandem has drawn flak.
"Pagsasanib pwersa 'yan ng 2 pampulitikang paksyong pinakagahaman ngayon sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan. That's a very grim prospect, it would be a partnership forged in hell, and one that the people should prevent from happening," Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said.
(That will join the forces of 2 political factions greediest for power and wealth.)
Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian are also reportedly possible running-mates for Duterte-Carpio, who leads pre-election surveys for the presidency.
She said the public would have to wait until October, when candidacies would be filed, to find out whether or not she would run for president.
DUTERTE FOR VP
Meanwhile, the Duterte patriarch repeated he would run for vice president.
"Bakit? Walang oposisyon, hindi ‘man manalo ‘yang oposisyon. Sigurado ako, ‘yong Otso Diretso ulit na naman ‘yon," he said, referring to the opposition slate that failed to secure a Senate seat in the 2019 polls.
(Why? There is no opposition, the opposition will not win. I am sure Otso Diretso will happen again.)
Duterte's allies last week said he would back out of the 2022 race if his daughter would run as his successor. But the mayor said her father and his political party should not drag her into their political plans.
Under the constitution, a president can serve only one 6-year term. Critics fear Duterte wants the vice presidency as a ploy to stay in power and avoid possible legal action for his acts as president.
His aides say the 76-year-old Duterte wanted to complete his "unfinished business" against illegal drugs and government corruption, which in 2016 he promised voters he could stamp out in 3 to 6 months.
— With a report from Reuters and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News
Video courtesy of PTV