Until the last day of the campaign period on Saturday, May 7, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte did not endorse his daughter’s standard-bearer, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Duterte was a no-show at the Uniteam miting de avance in Parañaque on Saturday.
His daughter Sara, who is running for vice president, was by herself on stage, while Marcos was joined by wife Liza, and sons Sandro, Simon and Vincent.
Starting Sunday, May 8, it is prohibited to do any overt campaigning such as endorsing or explicitly encouraging voters to go for a certain candidate.
Then again, the President on Friday morning, May 6, said something that pleased the Marcoses. Duterte said – albeit falsely – that no ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses has been found.
To Marcos, it sounded like an endorsement.
“Dahil nga pinayagan na niya ‘yung partido niya na mag-desisyon na mayoridad na makapag-endorse sa tambalang Marcos-Duterte ay consistent pa rin ‘yun, sinasabi nga niya na ayaw niyang mag-endorse dahil pangulo siya, he’s above the fray ika nga. Siguro dahil palapit na tayo sa election day, talagang nagpahiwatig na siya at pinapaalaman na niya saan suporta niya,“ Marcos said during a DZRH interview on Saturday, in reaction to Duterte’s latest remarks.
(Because he allowed his party to decide by majority to endorse the Marcos-Duterte tandem, that’s still consistent. He said he did not want to endorse because he’s the president and he should be above the fray. But maybe because we’re nearing the election, he’s making it apparent, or known, who he is supporting.)
The Supreme Court declared in 2003 that $658 million worth of the Marcos family’s assets are ill-gotten.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has recovered P174 billion from the Marcos loot, and continues to run after P125 billion more. Last year, the PCGG won a new case that awarded them P1 billion in bank certificates that the Marcoses took with them to Hawaii.
Imelda Marcos has been convicted of seven counts of graft for maintaining illegal Swiss foundations, two of which had Marcos Jr. and his siblings Imee and Irene as beneficiaries.
On Friday night, at his son’s Sebastian local miting de avance in Davao City, Duterte said in Bisaya: “I am not supporting anyone for president, I leave it up to you who you want. I will not dictate, I am neutral.”
Duterte was reported to have harbored ill feelings when her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, slid down to vice president for Marcos. After the official confirmation of the tandem, Duterte called Marcos a “spoiled child” and a “weak leader.”
For months, he insisted he would not be endorsing a presidential candidate, even when his PDP-Laban wing endorsed Marcos midway in the campaign period. Marcos and Duterte even met in person on the eve of the party endorsement, but Duterte never attended any of the Uniteam rallies after.
He was also not present in the tandem’s miting de avance in Tagum, Davao del Norte, on Thursday, May 5, though he attended his son Sebastian’s miting de avance in Davao City the next day. Sebastian, the youngest of his children with Elizabeth Zimmerman, is running for mayor against their former ally, Ruy Elias Lopez.
This piece is republished with permission from Rappler.com.