First lady: We will not use our power vs critics

First lady: We will not use our power vs critics

/ 05:30 AM April 20, 2024

First lady: We will not use our power vs critics

First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. FILE PHOTO

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his family will not use their influence to strike back against their detractors as wielding power against their political enemies will not help in nation-building, first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos said in an interview.

Araneta-Marcos said her husband believed that the attacks and any vindictiveness arising from being slighted have to “stop somewhere.” She spoke in an hourlong exclusive interview with broadcaster Anthony Taberna that was shown on his YouTube channel early Friday.


READ: ‘I know what line not to cross’ – FL Liza on Imee Marcos


Araneta-Marcos dared her family’s critics to “bring it on” although she said she won’t ever “stoop to their level.”

Calling herself the “Fierce Lady,” she quipped, laughing, that they will only “become uglier and uglier” as karma bites at them.

“Don’t you think there’s a designed effort (to attack the Marcoses)?” she asked. “Of course, yes. But who’s doing it?”Despite the concerted effort to bring them down, the first lady said her family will not use their power to shut down the social media accounts of people who bash them.

“Ito na lang ha. If you’re the President of the Philippines and I am the Fierce Lady, Fierce ha, sa palagay mo hindi ko kayang gawin ’yan? … But it has to stop. This cannot be. Hindi ganun ’yung Pinoy,” Araneta-Marcos said. (Let’s put it this way. If you’re the President of the Philippines and I am the Fierce Lady, that’s Fierce, okay. You think I can’t do the same? … It can be done, but it has to stop. This cannot be. Filipinos are not like that.)

She went on: “Let them do their thing. Sa palagay mo ba hindi namin kaya gawin ’yan? You’re the President of the country.” (Let them do their thing. You think we are not capable of doing that? You’re the President of the country.)

‘Will I take the bait?’

A lawyer by profession, Araneta-Marcos said she was not interested in pressing charges against bashers attacking her family as it won’t contribute to nation-building.


READ: First lady bares beef with Sara for laughing at ‘addict’ claim

She admitted that she was initially shocked and hurt by the criticisms hurled at her family, but she learned to ignore the taunts.

“I’m a lawyer, right? Filing charges is my life. Will I take the bait? I’d rather not. It’s a waste of my time, and of filing fees. No, no, no … It has to stop. It has to stop somewhere,” Araneta-Marcos said.She said that in the 31 years she had been married to Marcos, he never spoke ill against anyone or filed charges against those who had attacked him.

“Someone told Bong, why aren’t you standing up? Why don’t you say something? You know what he said? ‘It has to stop at some point.’ If you think about the past and other vindictiveness, did you ever hear my husband talk bad about anyone? It has to stop,” Araneta-Marcos said.

She added: “So let’s take it to the logical conclusion. I get pissed, I will file a case, Bong will file a case. And then it’s two factions again. What will happen to nation-building?”

The first lady made the remarks after she was asked about her relationship with Vice President Sara Duterte, which triggered her own attacks against the daughter of former President Rodrigo Duterte and her husband’s predecessor himself.

She ‘crossed the line’

She said the Vice President, who is also the education secretary, “crossed the line” when she laughed at her father’s allegations that the President was “bangag” (stoned), something a member of the Cabinet was not supposed to do as Marcos’ ally and alter ego.

There were no immediate comments or reactions from the Vice President or her spokesperson.

Araneta-Marcos said she will give Duterte the cold shoulder in the absence of an apology from her father for going too far by calling her husband a drug user at an anti-Charter change rally in Davao City in January.

READ: Marcos on his relationship with Duterte clan: ‘It’s complicated’

The first lady admitted that she was hurt by the statements of her husband’s predecessor and the Vice President’s reaction.“Imagine a former President calling him bangag (stoned)?” she said. “Why would you call him that, right? And then the camera panned to her, she was laughing.”

“She laughed. For me, that’s wrong. You’re getting your salary from the government. You’re supposed to be the alter ego. We’re there protecting you. Then you do that? That’s wrong. You crossed the line,” the first lady said.

Araneta-Marcos noted that not even then Vice President Leni Robredo acted that way toward the elder Duterte despite their strained ties.

The elder Duterte also alleged that Marcos was on the watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, a claim that the agency denied.

READ: ‘It’s the fentanyl,’ Marcos says after former president Duterte tags him ‘drug addict’

The next day, the President remarked that his predecessor’s dependence on the opioid fentanyl must be affecting him.

Araneta-Marcos also took offense at the former president’s claim that her son, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, was gunning to be prime minister and that the Marcoses want to “perpetuate” themselves in power.

Not her sons

She said she was “not short-tempered” but amazed at the “really stupid” and unsophisticated and invented stories against her family. “But I get angry when they hurt my sons,” she said.Araneta-Marcos said she gave the Vice President the silent treatment during the departure ceremonies for the President and his delegation on his state visit to Vietnam, a day after the January 28 Davao City rally.

“I’m many things, but I’m not a hypocrite. It was departure time. So we were there. Normally, we would talk, but I didn’t want to. Then somebody went up to me and said, ‘Hey, you look beautiful today.’ I said, ‘No, I actually look bangag.’ She (Duterte) had no reaction,” Araneta-Marcos said.

“I said, ‘Bangag is the word of the day.’ Still, no reaction. I stopped it afterwards but I’d do it again.”

She said she has yet to receive an apology from Duterte for the incident.

“Bad shot na ’yan sa akin. Unless she says sorry or whatever, maybe she will. But she crossed the line. Actually, going down from Prague, I saw her again. Bong said, ‘Behave.’ I said, ‘Wrong person, honey,” Araneta-Marcos said.

Asked if there was no hope of reconciliation between her and Duterte, the first lady said: “No. I mean, for me, I was hurt. Because my husband will do everything to protect you. You ran together, remember? We were supposed to rise up together. You went to a rally where your President was called a stoned President, you’re going to laugh? Is that the right thing to do? Even Leni never did that.”

‘Always kind,’ ‘really nice’

She added that she was “always kind” and was “really nice” to Duterte, but things changed after that rally in Davao City.

Her interview with Taberna was the first time that a member of the first family aired gripes about the Vice President, who was one-half of the “UniTeam” with Marcos in the 2022 presidential elections.

Since the anti-Charter change rally in Davao City, the elder Duterte has criticized his successor on other occasions and even called him a “crybaby” for going to the United States for help in dealing with China on the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos refused to be goaded into responding in a similar manner. During his visit to Washington last week, he said the former President’s ad hominem attacks had no place in the “very important and very precarious discussions” with the United States and Japan.

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Last Monday, the President described his relationship with his predecessor as “complicated,” but said his working relationship with the Vice President “hasn’t really changed.” —WITH A REPORT FROM KATHLEEN DE VILLA 

TAGS: First Lady, Liza Araneta Marcos

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