Manila Standard : Rody clears BBM of pillage

By Vito Barcelo | Manila Standard

Says he lives ‘simple life,’ ill-gotten wealth allegation not proven
Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has lived a “simple life” and his family’s ill-gotten wealth was not really proven, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a taped television interview aired on Friday.

The remarks seemed to indicate Duterte was virtually anointing “BBM,” the running mate of the President’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, as his successor, on the eve of the end of the campaign period for the May 9 elections.

In an interview with his spiritual adviser Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on SMNI, Duterte claimed the Philippine government through the years failed to find any ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

The President said he remembered Bongbong as a candidate who used to “ride” with him in previous campaigns, most especially when he was still a senator.

“Iyong pera ninakaw, eh, hanggang ngayon, wala naman silang nakita. Ito kung maniwala kayo, kung hindi, okay lang. Marcos, may kaunting perang naiwan, na-sequester lahat eh, pati iyong sa Switzerland,” Duterte told Quiboloy.

(Their money was stolen until now? They haven’t seen anything. It is okay if you believe it or not. But Marcos has a little money left, everyone was sequestered, including the one in Switzerland.)

“Hindi naman siya mapagkakatiwalaan ng bilyon-bilyon. Bata pa siya noon eh. Of course, ininherit nila ‘yan but that would be a very very tedious process,” Duterte said.

“Alam mo iyong kampanya sa pagka-senador, nakikisakay lang iyan sya sa akin… Kung may pera sya noon o wala, magtataka kami… Walang pera ito, wala. Simula noong, wala naman — simple living lang iyan siya, wala siya ‘yung sabihin mo talaga,” Duterte added of Marcos Jr., who was a senator from 2010 to 2016.

[You know, when he campaigned for senator (in 2010), he was just hitching a ride with me… We were really wondering if he had any money or not… He really doesn’t have money. Since then, there was no—he just does simple living, he has nothing of what you may say (wealth).]

Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Duterte-Carpio, is running for vice president after initially being groomed to succeed her father by the President’s PDP-Laban faction.

The faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is backing the Marcos-Duterte tandem’s election bid.

This week, President Duterte also said he would not endorse any presidential candidate even “until December” this year, when he had already stepped down after six years in Malacañang.

In a related development, the President said he is astounded by Filipinos’ continued support of him with less than two months left before he vacates Malacañang.

Despite being “strict,” he believes Filipinos appreciate his efforts to fight illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in government.

“Why am I popular? I really don’t know. Ano bang nagawa ko (What have I done)?” Duterte said in the same taped interview with Quiboloy aired over SMNI on Friday. “I have yet to divine the—or to fathom the real reason why I remain to be popular.”

He also cited his policies and accomplishments, especially infrastructure development through the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program, pay hike for soldiers and cops, and access to universal health care services.

“Ang tanong (The question is) why are you popular? Maybe because of my stand at ‘yung nagawa ko (and what I have done),” Duterte said.

According to PUBLiCUS Asia Inc.’s March 30 to April 6 “Pahayag First Quarter Survey”, Duterte earned approval and trust scores of 67.2 percent and 61.2 percent.

PUBLiCUS said “the longevity of President Duterte’s popularity is a rarity in Philippine presidential politics”.

In a similar survey conducted by OCTA Research on March 5 to 10, Duterte emerged as the most appreciated and trusted official among top government officials.

He received a satisfaction rating of 67 percent and a trust rating of 69 percent, based on the “Tugon ng Masa” survey conducted by OCTA Research.

Malacañang on Wednesday assured the public that Duterte’s signature “Tapang at Malasakit” (courage and compassion) brand of leadership will continue until the end of his term on June 30.