MANILA, Philippines – Acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte had a meeting with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Duterte’s longtime ally said the meeting was “productive” and that the president even gave Marcos some advice. He added that the president was thrilled with the discussion that he spent a lot of time speaking with Marcos.
|President Rodrigo Duterte to endorse presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.? Photo Courtesy: PCOO/ ABS-CBN|
According to Go, the president hopes that whoever his successor will be will continue his good works and service to the Filipino people.
He recalled, “Maganda naman po ang resulta ng meeting. Medyo matagal-tagal nga ‘yun at talagang ganado ‘yung Pangulo na magkuwento. I think about 80% ng discussion ay more on si Presidente po ang nagsasalita.”
“Nagbigay siya ng mga kaunting payo, mga ginawa niya para sa ating bayan ay sana po’y ipagpatuloy ng kung sino man po ‘yong magiging susunod na Pangulo,” Go added.
Andanar also confirmed the “cordial” meeting with Marcos. Like Go’s statement, Andanar expressed Duterte’s wish for the next administration to continue what he has started.
“The President expressed optimism that his administration’s notable programs and projects will be continued by the next administration,” Andanar said.
“It was a cordial and productive meeting, where the President shared his experiences and insights as an outgoing Chief Executive with the presidential aspirant,” he added.
However, both Go and Andanar couldn’t confirm an official endorsement of Marcos coming from Duterte.
The meeting came days before the PDP-Laban faction backed by party president Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi released a statement that they have chosen to support Marcos’ bid for the presidency. The statement was signed by Cusi and other party officials.
According to Cusi, Marcos is the “candidate whose platform is most aligned with the development program of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte…”
However, Cusi clarified that their endorsement doesn’t directly reflect the President’s choice. He explained, “Ito po ay hindi desisyon ng isang tao, ito po ay desisyon ng partido.”
He added that they were still waiting for the president’s final decision. Cusi earlier said, “We are looking forward to that day na dumating na si Pangulo will say as chairman of the party that he is also adopting the position of the party.”
Go explained that Cusi-backed party endorsement went through proper consultation and discussion with the president.
Duterte earlier indirectly described Marcos as a “weak leader” and said he was not impressed with him. “Hindi ako naninira ng tao, talagang weak kasi spoiled child, only son. Of course, he can talk, he delivers English articulately, 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,” he earlier said.
He also remarked that it would be best if his successor would be someone compassionate and a lawyer.
Because of Duterte’s “qualifications,” the other PDP-Laban factor Governor Ben Evardone endorsed Marcos’ rival Leni Robredo. Evardone also explained that Duterte was consulted with their decision, and they had his “blessing.”
— Sally, The Summit Express