MANILA — The public should give President Rodrigo Duterte some time to choose which of the remaining presidential contenders he would endorse, after his preferred successor announced he was quitting the 2022 elections, his acting spokesman said on Friday.
The President's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio urged administration supporters to unite behind her and running-mate, presidential contender Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., after Sen. Christopher Go said he would no longer vie for the presidency.
Duterte recently branded Marcos a "weak leader."
Asked if the President was in favor of his supporters rallying behind Marcos, Palace acting spokesman Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said, "Si Pangulo (the President) has options, has choices that he has to make."
"We should give him the time... to make those decisions, and give him the leeway to make the announcement," he said in a press briefing.
The President's son Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte has reportedly expressed support for Marcos.
"Lahat naman po whether politician, whether sitting elected official ay may karapatan naman pong mag-endorso at sumuporta ng kani-kanilang mga kandidato," Nograles said of this development.
(Everyone, whether a politician or sitting elected official, has a right to endorse and support their own candidates.)
Go has yet to formally withdraw his candidacy.
"Ang desisyon po na iyan ay isang personal na desisyon ni Senator Bong Go... At kagaya nga ng sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte kagabi lamang, na nirirespeto po namin siyempre ang desisyon ni Senator Bong Go," said Nograles.
(That is a personal decision of Senator Bong Go. And like President Duterte said last night, we of course respect the decision of Senator Bong Go.)
Marcos is facing several disqualification cases. He is running against Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, senators Manny Pacquiao and Ping Lacson, and labor leader Leody De Guzman.
Video courtesy of PTV
2022 elections, Halalan 2022, Rodrigo Duterte, Bongbong Marcos, Bong Go, Sara Duterte