The Manila Times : KBL names Bongbong as presidential candidate

News & Interviews
25 September 2021

By Javier Joe Ismael and Lea Devio | The Manila Times

The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) has named former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as its presidential bet for the 2022 elections.

The KBL is the party founded by Marcos' father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos' nomination was formalized during an event organized by lawyer Larry Gadon at the Thunderbird Resorts and Casino in Binangonan, Rizal and attended by some 200 party members and Marcos loyalists.

In a video message, Marcos thanked KBL and his supporters for their trust and confidence but said he cannot give a final response because he is still deciding what national position he will vie for.

"I will answer when the time comes. We will use all the time (before making a decision). Malapit na mabuo…dahan dahan nabubuo ang aking plano (Things are coming to the formation of a final decision)," he said.

Marcos, who lost the vice presidential race to Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo in 2016, said he has been holding informal talks with different parties, including the pro-administration Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Asked to comment on a statement that Robredo would seek the presidency if he runs, Marcos said one seeks the presidency to help the country, not to compete against another person.

He also said he would rather run for the Senate than face President Duterte as a vice presidential opponent.

Key to end tyranny

Robredo has not indicated if she will join the presidential derby.

On Friday, Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares urged her and other opposition presidential bets to continue efforts to form the broadest coalition for 2022.

"I am making a personal appeal to my former colleagues in Congress, Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, as well as my partymate during the 2016 elections, Mayor Isko Moreno (Francisco Domagoso), to continue the efforts at a united opposition slate for the 2022 elections," Colmenares said.

While the ruling PDP-Laban "appears to be breaking up into pieces," a Marcos-Duterte or Duterte-Marcos tandem is still possible, he said.

"A united opposition will be key to ending Duterte's reign of tyranny, incompetence and corruption," he said.

On Thursday, Duterte formally accepted his nomination by the PDP-Laban to be its candidate for vice president.

Also throwing their hats in the presidential ring are Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao.

"The opportunity to unite the opposition will still be there even after you have filed your certificates of candidacy this October. We are not giving up," said Colmenares, who has announced that he will run for senator in 2022.

Robredo's spokesman Barry Gutierrez told her supporters to be more patient.

"We understand their frustration at this government. We understand that they think that we really need to take a strong stance for the 2022 elections, and we assure them — the vice president feels exactly the same way. That is why, precisely, she is exerting all possible efforts to form the strongest coalition possible so that we will have the best chance of actually prevailing in 2022," Gutierrez said in a television interview.

"So, iyon ang — pareho naman tayo ng objective dito. Ang message lang namin, chill lang tayo, 'di ba? Magtiwala tayo and malapit na. She will be announcing soon (We all have the same objectives here. Our only message is, let's just chill, right? Just trust her, she will be making an announcement soon)," he added.

Last week, Robredo said she was giving herself three weeks to decide her plans for 2022. She has insisted she will run for president only if the unity ticket chooses her.

The window for Robredo to make a decision is fast closing. Certificates of Candidacy (COC) must be filed between October 1 and 8.

'Satisfaction ratings still very good'

Meanwhile, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said President Duterte's satisfaction ratings are "still very good by any standard," despite sagging scores this year.

Roque made the statement after the three results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys showed a decline in Duterte's satisfaction rating in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"That is po hindi masyadong (That is not really) alarming and it is still very good by any standard," Roque said during a virtual press briefing.

"We consider this high satisfaction rating unprecedented as comparable data from previous Presidents indicate this is the highest net satisfaction rating of the beginning of a Chief Executive's final year in office (President Corazon Aquino's +24 in April 1991; President Fidel Ramos +49 in June 1997; President Joseph Estrada, unfinished term; President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo -31 in June 2009; President Benigno Aquino +30 in June 2015)," he said.

The SWS surveys showed that Duterte earned an "excellent" +79 net satisfaction score in November 2020, after 84 percent of the respondents expressed satisfaction with his performance; only 6 percent were dissatisfied and the remaining 9 percent were undecided.

The President's net satisfaction rating last November was his highest since 2016. But it dropped by 14 points to "very good" +65 in May 2021, with 75 percent satisfied, 10 percent dissatisfied and 15 percent undecided.

Duterte's net satisfaction score further declined to "very good" +62 in June 2021.

The SWS survey results were released less than a week before the period for filing of certificates of candidacy.

With CATHERINE S. VALENTE