Sara says Imee Marcos, not Romualdez, pushed me to run for VP
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte belied claims that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was a big factor in her decision to run for her current office in the 2022 national elections, saying that it was Senator Imee Marcos — the sister of the President — who urged her.
Duterte made these claims on Wednesday night, supposedly in reply to Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga who supposedly said that Romualdez played a huge part.
According to the Vice President, it is an insult to thousands of people and groups who urged her to seek the country’s second highest office and partner with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Speaker Martin Romualdez had absolutely nothing to do with my decision to run for Vice President. To say that he ‘tremendously helped in pushing for’ my Vice Presidential bid is acutely inaccurate — an insult to thousands of groups and individuals who incessantly implored me to reconsider an earlier decision not to join national politics,” Duterte said.
“And it was Senator Imee Marcos who eventually persuaded me to run as Vice President — and it was a decision sealed only after President Bongbong Marcos agreed to the conditions I set before running for VP,” she added. “There was no Speaker Romualdez in the picture.”
Duterte said Barzaga may have been badly informed about the story.
“Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. was obviously badly informed or made to believe a lie,” she said.
“Meanwhile, a person who cannot distinguish between attack and humor has no place in politics — especially if one fails to understand that political bickering is just a facet of democracy and should not be used to equate with governance. On the one hand, how the recent political developments have become an opportunity for sycophants is quite amusing,” she added.
Duterte ended by saying that Marcos’ administration still has her support, and that it remains “strong and stable.”
“Let me reiterate this, however — the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is stable and strong. It has my all-out support and the support of the majority of the Filipino people,” she added.
It is unclear what caused a rift between the two leaders, but Romualdez and Duterte have been key fixtures during the presidential campaign of Marcos — with the now-Speaker acting as the Vice President’s campaign manager.
In a video recorded during Romualdez’ oath-taking ceremony of Romualdez last June 2022, Duterte thanked Romualdez for “taking” her into Lakas-CMD, and accepting the challenge to manage her campaign.
“I would like to personally thank, publicly thank Congressman Martin Romualdez for taking me in in Lakas-CMD, and accepting the challenge to be one of my two campaign managers during the last elections. It was not without irritations and challenges but you did very well, 32.2 million votes, you did it all,” Duterte said in her speech.
It could be recalled that after close ally and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was removed as a senior House deputy speaker, Duterte bolted out of the Lakas-CMD party.
Arroyo, who was replaced by Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., said that her actions were misconstrued to be part of a coup attempt against Romualdez.