Palace: ‘Unclear’ if Duterte will endorse Marcos presidency despite party’s support
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s pick for the next president remains unclear despite his party PDP-Laban’s decision to endorse the candidacy of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Malacañang said Tuesday.
Acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said the PDP-Laban’s endorsement of Marcos is a “collegial decision” of the party but it does not mean that it is the personal decision of the President.
“The president himself has not given any statement on the issue if he is supporting this or that presidential candidate. Hintayin nalang natin si Pangulong Duterte kung ano ang kanyang personal na decision,” he said in a Palace briefing.
(Let’s wait for President Duterte to announce his personal decision.)
“Ito ay malinaw na decision ng partido pero hindi malinaw kung ito rin ang gusto ni Pangulong Duterte,” he added.
(It is clear that this is a decision of the party but it is not clear if this is what Duterte wants.)
The Duterte-led PDP-Laban wing, which is headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, has officially endorsed the presidential candidacy of Marcos Jr.
It had earlier adopted Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as its vice presidential bet.
READ: Cusi-led PDP-Laban wing endorses Bongbong Marcos for president
The camp of Marcos said the endorsement of the PDP Laban faction signals that their message of national unity is “gaining ground.”
The faction’s move, however, was slammed by the other wing of PDP-Laban, which is headed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and endorses Senator Manny Pacquiao’s candidacy, saying that the party was established “to oppose the Marcos dictatorship.”
“With this latest action from Sec. Cusi and his cohorts, they have manifested that they are total strangers to PDP LABAN. They don’t even acknowledge that PDP LABAN was established to oppose the Marcos dictatorship,” Pimentel said in a statement.
READ: Pimentel slams Cusi’s support for Marcos; says time for Comelec to dismiss petition of ‘usurpers’
Duterte earlier said he is not supporting any candidate “at this time” unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
He said the ideal president should be a decisive, compassionate lawyer. Marcos is not a lawyer.
READ: ‘Sana abogado:’ A compassionate lawyer will make a good president, says Duterte
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