By ABS-CBN News
MANILA (UPDATE)—Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday confirmed they will work as a tandem in the lead-up to the 2022 elections.
“Naitawid na namin ni Mayor Inday Sara Duterte ang proseso para sa tambalang inaasam-asam ng aming mga taga-suporta — ang BBM-SARA sa 2022. At napagkasunduan namin at ng aming mga partido ang pagsusulong ng mapagkaisang liderato sakaling kami ay palarin sa darating na halalan sa Mayo 9, 2022,” Marcos, who is running for president, said in a statement released after Duterte-Carpio said she has formed an alliance with the former senator.
(Sara and I have come together to form a partnership that our supporters have long wanted to see. We have agreed to advance a unified leadership should we win the elections on May 9.)
“Ang aking partido ay nakipag-alyansa at humingi ng suporta para kay Bongbong Marcos at para sa akin matapos kong tanggapin ang inyong hamon at panawagan,” the presidential daughter eyeing the vice presidency said in a video posted on social media.
(My party has formed an alliance with Bongbong Marcos, and we are asking you to support us after I have answered your call to run for vice president).
Duterte-Carpio added that the ruling party PDP-Laban rejected her request to back her partnership with Marcos.
It was the first time Duterte-Carpio spoke about their tandem for the 2022 elections since she filed her candidacy for the country's No. 2 job under Lakas-CMD. She used to head the Davao-based party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
The camp of Marcos, who is running under Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), had immediately adopted Duterte-Carpio as its vice presidential bet after she formalized her candidacy last Saturday.
Duterte-Carpio's father, President Rodrigo Duterte, belongs to PDP-Laban, which initially fielded Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa and Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as its 2022 presidential and vice presidential bets, respectively.
But after Duterte-Carpio made her vice presidential bid official, Dela Rosa and Go promptly withdrew their candidacies, before Go filed one instead for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) via substitution.
Duterte, who according to Marcos was the PFP's initial bet for the vice presidency, also formally joined the senatorial race as a PDDS candidate.
Earlier in the day, Marcos' camp said it did not support government candidates.
“It’s not accurate to say that we have aligned with the administration because obviously the admin has its own candidate in the person of you know who," spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said, referring to Go.
In a radio interview on November 13, Marcos, whose candidacy has been challenged by some groups over his conviction for tax evasion a few decades ago, had hoped for a unified slate of administration candidates.
Duterte-Carpio said she understood the decision of PDP-Laban, already without a presidential-VP tandem, to reject their offer and request.
She said no one was put at a disadvantage over her tandem with Marcos.
"Pero gusto ko lamang na linawin — walang pangalan na sinisira o dinudungisan, walang sinasagasaan, walang inaagrabyado, inaaway, pinapaiyak o inaapi," she said.
Duterte-Carpio's statement came after Go, Duterte's longtime aide, said he preferred to have her as his running mate.
"Kung ako lang po pipili, siyempre, mas gugustuhin ko si Mayor Inday Sara," said Go. The PDDS has no vice presidential candidate following the withdrawal of its initial bet.
Duterte-Carpio said she was running for the national post to improve on what her father had started.
“Sa muli, nananawagan ako ng pagkakaisa. Ang layunin natin ay hindi lamang ituloy ang mga magagandang nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte kundi ang mas pagbutihin at mas palawigin pa ang mga ito," she said.
(Again, I am calling for unity. Our objective is not only to pursue the initiatives of President Duterte, but to enhance those further.)
She said that even though the period for substitution of candidates ended already Monday, her battle is just starting, and she is banking on the support of her followers.
"The people will make me strong. And it is through our solidarity and unity that we will be able to build a stronger nation" the 43-year-old official said.
She also confirmed talking to TV host Willie Revillame who called for unity in the administration ranks. — With reports from RG Cruz and Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News