By Jamaine Punzalan | ABS-CBN News
'Unfair' to eye him as presidential bet, says Duterte ally
MANILA— The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said on Friday he has engaged in "many, many" discussions on the 2022 elections with the two rival factions of President Rodrigo Duterte's party.
Former senator and defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was nominated as a presidential candidate earlier Friday by a party founded by his father. But he said he was still seeking alliances for next year and was "very, very close to announcing" which national post he would seek.
Marcos said he was talking with "everybody who is in the mix," including the Duterte-backed PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso and the rival group led by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel.
"Iyong (the) PDP-Laban, yes, it’s true there are no formal talks," said Marcos.
"But there had been many, many informal talks because on both sides of the PDP-Laban, on the Pimentel side and the Cusi side, puro kaibigan ko naman lahat ‘yan e," he told online Friday News Forum.
"Matagal na kaming nag-uusap… It’s something that’s just ongoing."
(They are all my friends. We have been talking for a long time.)
Pacquiao last weekend declared his presidential run, weeks after a falling out with Duterte over corruption allegations against the government and the latter's policy on the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte earlier accepted his nomination as vice presidential candidate. His longtime aide Sen. Christopher Go earlier has yet to accept his nomination as presidential candidate.
The Duterte-backed group is not looking at any other presidential candidate aside from Go, said its secretary general Melvin Matibag.
"It will also be unfair to Senator Bong Go na tumingin kami ng ibang kandidato habang hinihintay ‘yong kaniyang kasagutan," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
"Kung ihahambing po natin, meron kang sinusuyo, ilang beses kang binasted tapos mababalitaan niya may nililigawan ka palang iba. Medyo hindi po yata maganda ang dating kaya ayaw po nating entertain po ‘yan," he said.
(It will also be unfair to Senator Bong Go for us to look at another candidate while waiting for his answer. We can compare it to wooing someone who rejects you then learns that you're already wooing someone else. It doesn't come off good so we are not entertaining that.)
Duterte's PDP wing this week revealed he has signed a certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA). Matibag said this could be "a big push for Senator Bong Go to help him decide, reconsider his previous decision."
"Bukod tangi po, ito po ‘yong Pangulo na puwede nating utusan,
Talaga hong nasa kaniya lang, ‘yong public service lang talaga. Ang daling hatakin," Matibag said of Go.
"Iyong mga governors at mayors, talagang sabi nila, tumakbo na si Senator Bong Go kasi ang dali-dali naming kausap. Magti-text lang kami."
(One of a kind, this is the only President you can order around. It's just public service for him. He is easy to pull. Governors and mayors say Senator Bong Go should run because it's easy to talk to him, we just text him.)
Fending off concern this could reduce Go to Duterte's lackey if elected president, Matibag said, "Iyong utos, pakiusap sa kaniya, sa mabuting bagay. Kung sa mabuting bagay po, walang problema sa kaniya."
"Pero marunong din pong magalit ‘pag sa masamang bagay, marunong ding humindi at magalit," he said.
(The order, request for him is for the good. If it's for a good thing, there is no problem with him. But he knows how to get angry at bad things, he knows how to say no.)
As for the President's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, her father's faction "respects" her stance, said Matibag. Duterte-Carpio earlier said she would not vie for the presidency because of her father's 2022 run.
Aside from Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso have declared their bids for the presidency.
"Nakahanda po kaming talunin ‘yong aming mga kalaban," said Matibag.
(We are ready to defeat our opponents.)
Duterte, 76, is barred by the constitution from seeking reelection. His critics believe his vice presidential run is a ploy to keep power and avoid legal cases, while his allies say his candidacy is legal.
Candidacies for president, vice president, and senator are required to be filed from Oct. 1 to 8. Substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15.