Marcos to Cayetano: Criticizing me won’t work
“It won’t work.”
That was what Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. whispered to his rival Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano onstage after the first and only vice presidential debate at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Sunday.
During the INQ&A vice presidential interview of INQUIRER.net on Monday, Cayetano was asked if his strategy of pressing Marcos during the debate worked in his favor.
Cayetano said it wasn’t a strategy.
“I would have gone like that whether I’m running or not,” he said, referring to his constant pressing on Marcos about corruption and human rights abuses.
The senator then narrated what transpired between him and Marcos onstage after the debate.
While onstage, Cayetano said he waved to the crowd and approached his rivals to shake hands with them, until a smiling Marcos also approached him.
Cayetano said he shook Marcos’ hands, saying the debate was nothing personal.
“Sport lang. Issue sa issue,” he said.
But he said he was shocked with Marcos’ gesture.
“Nagulat ako bigla ako binulungan, ‘It won’t work’. Gumanun siya. ‘It won’t work. It won’t work,’” Cayetano said.
“So, binitawan ko ang kamay, hinabol ko, sabi ko, ‘Who says it’s about that?’” Cayetano added.
But Marcos ignored him.
During the vice presidential debate, Cayetano bashed Marcos on issues of corruption and human right abuses, especially during martial law when his father, Ferdinand Marcos, was the president.
Asked why he was more bent on pressing Marcos compared to his other rivals, Cayetano said because the issue was about corruption and human rights violation.
But Cayetano was not alone in bashing Marcos. The latter was also hammered by his other rivals on the record of ill-gotten wealth by his family, including torture during the martial law.
Marcos has repeatedly denied issues thrown against him, saying the corruption issues hurled against him and his family were mere allegations.
In his opening speech, Marcos was heckled by protesters inside the debate hall, chanting, “Never again to martial law.”
The protesters were escorted out of the debate hall. JE
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