MANILA, Philippines — Should he want to, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte can join the Cabinet of the incoming administration, President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said Thursday.
“If he wants to,” Marcos told reporters in a sit-down interview with select media when asked if Duterte will have a Cabinet post under his administration.
He, however, clarified that this is not a standing offer as they have not talked about it yet but he said he would be open to appointing his predecessor to a post.
“We have not talked about it but I’m open to anyone who’s able to help in the government. Matagal na kaming magkabigan ni PRRD, noong mayor pa siya. I’m sure if he wants to play a part, sasabihin naman nya sa akin. I am certainly open to all of that,” he said.
(We are long-time friends, even when he is still mayor of Davao City. I’m sure that if he wants to play a part, he will tell me.)
Marcos Jr. revealed that he had “several” meetings with President Duterte even before the May 9, 2022 elections when he was still in the running for the presidency.
He also said he is also open to appointing his rivals in the 2022 presidential race as long as they are capable and willing to help.
“Iilan diyan, nagsabi ‘lumaban kami sayo siguro wala na kaming pag-asa diyan sa gobyerno mo.’ Sabi ko ‘pulitika lang yan, pero ‘pag trabaho na, magtrabaho na tayo, okay lang ‘yun. For me, that’s part of it and that’s finished’,” he said.
(Some of them have told me “we went against you so maybe we no longer have a chance in your government. But I said “that’s only politics when it comes down to work, let’s work. That’s okay. For me, that’s part of it and that’s finished.)
Marcos Jr. admitted that he had difficulties in searching for Cabinet members, especially experts since it is hard to convince them to leave their private lives and work for the government.
“One of the hardest parts of picking these experts it because they are successful. Maganda na ‘yung buhay nila eh tapos sabihin mo pumasok sa pulitika, ang gulo gulo ng pulitika,” he said.
He, however, said that many are willing to serve the country.
Marcos Jr. bared a portion of his economic team on Thursday.