MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has called presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as a "spoiled" and "weak leader," even as the former senator is pursuing a 2022 election tandem with his daughter.
In a recorded event that aired on Friday, Duterte was asked by a local Mindoro leader whether there would be an alliance between his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's Lakas-CMD party and the PDP-Laban and PDDS parties he is affiliated with.
Duterte replied, "No. I cannot because nand’yan si Marcos. Hindi ako bilib sa kaniya. He’s really a weak leader."
(I cannot because Marcos is there. I am not impressed with him.)
Marcos Jr., namesake son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is Duterte-Carpio's running-mate.
"Hindi ako naninira ng tao, talagang weak kasi spoiled child, only son. Of course he can talk, he delivers English articulate[ly], ang aral kasi kung saan-saan sa labas. Pero kung sabihin mo na may crisis, he’s a weak leader at saka may bagahe siya," said the Duterte patriarch.
(I do not malign anyone, he is really weak because he was a spoiled child, only son. Of course, he can talk, he delivers English articulately because he studied in several places abroad. But if you say there is a crisis, he’s a weak leader and he has baggage.)
"I do not foist lies, masisira ka. Pero bantay ka, magkamali ang Pilipinas," he added.
(I do not foist lies, you will be destroyed. But watch out, the Philippines might get it wrong.)
The Marcos and Duterte-Carpio's camps have not yet replied to requests for comment.
Video courtesy of PTV
The Marcos and Duterte families had been friendly, as Duterte's father Vicente served in Ferdinand Marcos' Cabinet. In 2016, he allowed the late dictator's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite heavy protests.
In 2018, Duterte said he would step down as president if Marcos Jr., then contesting the Vice Presidential victory of incumbent Leni Robredo, would win his electoral protest.
“He has said he thinks [former] senator Bongbong Marcos is one of the better qualified leaders to succeed him. If there’s development and he (Marcos) will win the protest and he becomes vice-president, yes. He (Duterte) will make true his word,” then Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Marcos Jr. eventually lost his protest, cementing Robredo's win. The two are now contending for the presidency.
Duterte-Carpio was widely tipped to join the presidential race, after she led opinion polls. In October, her father said she would seek to replace him, with his longtime aide Sen. Christopher Go as running-mate.
But she registered over the weekend as a substitute candidate for vice president— a move that her father blamed on the Marcos camp. Displeased, Duterte even threatened to challenge his daughter in the vice presidential race.
But he ended up filing a candidacy for senator on Monday under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), the same party fielding Go as standard-bearer.
DUTERTE SAYS HE IS STILL PDP-LABAN CHAIRMAN
Duterte in his latest speech said that despite running under PDDS, "I remain a PDP-Laban member. I will not abandon the party whose members helped me in my program of governance."
"I will continue to serve and be of service to PDP-Laban in my capacity as chairman and as a member of the council of elders," he said. "I will campaign as a PDP-Laban member and will do the same for our local candidates who have remained loyal to the party and its principles."
He said his move to use the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance of PDDS "can be summed into 2 words: political strategy."
He noted PDDS and PDP-Laban have an alliance. He said the latter's constitution allows this "to strengthen our chances of achieving victory in the 2022 elections."
Two factions led by Duterte and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, another presidential contender, are warring for control of PDP-Laban. If the Commission on Elections deems one faction illegitimate, its 2022 bets would become independent candidates.
"‘Yong strategy natin, kung matalo tayo, at least may legal standing tayo kasi we are also in alliance with a political party, which is recognized by the Comelec," said Duterte.
(Our strategy is even if we lose, at least we have legal standing because we are also in alliance with a political party, which is recognized by the Comelec.)
The President touted Go, his anointed successor, as "honest" and hardworking.
Duterte in a different event on Thursday claimed that a presidential contender he did not name was a "weak leader" who allegedly uses cocaine.