Marcos: I only sought Duterte’s endorsement
He only sought the endorsement of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he thought the official was not running for President, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Friday, in reaction to Duterte’s earlier pronouncement that he had turned down Marcos’ offer to be his running mate.
“I had asked for (Duterte’s) endorsement when we thought he wasn’t running for President,” Marcos said in a text message.
On Thursday, Duterte told the Inquirer in a telephone interview that he had turned down Marcos’ overtures to be his running mate because he had already committed the post to Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano.
For months, Duterte disavowed any interest in the presidency and had in fact filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Davao City mayor. Early this week, however, the mayor expressed intentions to seek the top post, citing the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s “unconstitutional” decision to junk the disqualification suit against presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe. He filed his COC for the presidency through his lawyer on Friday.
Marcos had been named running mate by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago last month before she filed her presidential bid at the Commission on Elections.
But Marcos on Thursday said he was in a loose coalition with Santiago and may still forge a political partnership with Duterte.
After his text message on the Duterte issue, Marcos no longer replied to further questions and could no longer be reached by phone on Friday afternoon. Santiago and her camp similarly refused to comment on Marcos’ talks of possible realignment with Duterte.
Duterte corrected the Inquirer’s use of the term “rebuffed” in its story about Marcos seeking the mayor’s endorsement.
“Rebuff is a harsh term,” Duterte said. “I don’t mean to rebuff friends,” he added, explaining that he did not see a clear sign from Marcos about wanting to become his running mate. He also thought the senator had already committed to become Santiago’s running mate, the Davao official said.
“It was not a rebuff,” he repeated. “I was part of the fault, in the sense that I was vacillating in the past and there was lack of communication,” Duterte said.
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