By Michelle R. Guillang | Daily Tribune
Amid her father’s tirades against her running mate, vice-presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio defended her alliance with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and asked their supporters to “protect” the late dictator’s son.
“Let us protect our candidate. Let’s protect BBM (Bongbong Marcos). We must not stop supporting,” Duterte-Carpio told a crowd of supporters during her caravan with Marcos in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on 21 November.
“Let’s make sure we vote, and we protect our votes on the coming 9 May next year,” she added.
It was the first time that Marcos and Duterte-Carpio campaigned together as a tandem for the 2022 national elections.
She made the call days after President Rodrigo Duterte launched attacks against Marcos, calling the late dictator’s son a “spoiled” and “weak leader.”
He made the remark as he justified why PDP Laban and its allied parties cannot forge an alliance with Lakas-CMD which has Duterte-Carpio as its chairperson.
Lakas-CMD has joined forces with Partido Federal ng Pilipinas to formalize the tandem of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio for the next year’s polls.
Despite the President’s apparent disapproval of their tandem, the presidential daughter vouched for Marcos and explained why she chose him as her “partner”.
Duterte-Carpio underscored his stint as governor, congressman, and senator in the past.
“I confidently believe that his experience: Governor, Congressman, Senator — this will help him to fulfill his job as President of the Philippines,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Marcos had only a few bills signed into law during his legislative stint, however.
Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ home province also remains in the middle of the pack of progressive provinces despite the long decades of being ruled by the family.
She also explained why she did not heed her supporters’ appeal for her to run for president and opted to run for the second-highest government post.
“Many of you, especially in the Davao Region, were not happy with my decision not to run for president. After the deadline on 8 October, I don’t want anyone to cry on 15 November. When the suggestion for me to run for vice president was offered, there I saw that I could answer the calls of the people — for me to enter national politics and serve you all,” she said.
“And I chose to run for vice president. Why? Because oftentimes in life, we find ourselves to be a leader. But sometimes, in our lives, we need to stand behind another leader,” she added.
Marcos is facing at least four disqualification petitions before the Commission on Elections, including a cancellation plea for his tax conviction and his alleged “refusal” to return the ill-gotten wealth his family acquired during his father’s 21-year rule in the Philippines.
Duterte-Carpio has disclosed that their tandem had sought support from PDP Laban but the ruling party rejected it.
PDP Laban was formed in 1982 as an opposition to Marcos Jr.’s father, the ousted late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
The Marcos family, including Marcos Jr., fled the country for Hawaii in 1986, taking with them bundles of cash and gold, along with numerous expensive artworks which were found to have been funded with stolen money from the country’s coffers.
Many attempts by the government to recover at least a portion of that stolen wealth had been successful. The Marcos family, including Marcos Jr. could not travel to the United States where many other various cases await them.
Not wanting to be associated with Marcos Jr., PDP Laban is endorsing the presidential bid of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
Last week, the President also warned voters against a presidential aspirant with a strong following ahead of the 2022 polls but whom he called a cocaine user.
Duterte, whose administration has been waging a war on drugs since 2016, described the aspirant as someone who came from a “rich family” with a famous “father” but a “weak leader” — the same remarks he used against Marcos.