President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Nov 15 (Mabuhay) –President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday claimed that former senator and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. influenced Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for Vice President in 2022.

In an interview with blogger Byron Cristobal or “Banat By,” the older Duterte bared that he will soon make an announcement on whether he will pursue the vice presidency next year.

Subsequently, he alleged that Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, made the decision for Sara’s recent moves.

“In a matter of hours, you would know. I will make an announcement. Baka. Ito ano lang, para malaman ng tao na hindi ko nagustuhan ‘yung nangyari. Hindi ko naman siya (Sara) sinisisi kasi ‘di kami nag-usap,” said the Chief Executive, when asked about reports of him being Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s running mate next year.

“‘Yung decision nila ang ayaw ko na tatakbo siya (Sara). I am sure ‘yung pagtakbo ni Sara ay desisyon nila Bongbong ‘yun,” he added.

On Saturday, Go  withdrew his certificate of candidacy for Vice President under PDP Laban and instead filed a certificate of candidacy for President under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).

As this happened, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said President Duterte will file his COC for vice president on November 15.

Sara on Saturday also filed a COC under Lakas-CMD party after Lyle Uy, Lakas-CMD’s initial vice presidential candidate for 2022, withdrew his application and named the Davao mayor as his substitute.

Sara’s recent developments made Duterte puzzled.

“Nagtataka ako. Siya (Sara) ang Number 1 sa survey, kung bakit siya pumayag na tatakbo lang na bise,” said Duterte.

Sara however issued a video statement on Sunday saying she decided to run for the vice presidency in response to appeals from her supporters for her to serve the country. She did not mention Marcos Jr. in her statement.

Meanwhile, PDP-Laban’s faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi asked party members to remain steadfast despite the changes in Go’s election plans.

Won’t support Marcos, Pacquiao

At one point in his interview, Duterte shared that he would never support Marcos Jr. and even accused the latter as a supporter of communist rebels.

“Sa kampanya, sasabihin ko kung bakit hindi ako puwedeng magsuporta kay Marcos… Ni minsan wala kayong narinig na mag-Marcos ako,” Duterte told the blogger.

(During our campaign, I will tell you why I can’t support Marcos… You will never hear that I supported Marcos.)

“Pero ‘yang takbo ni Marcos, sasabihin ko ang rason kung bakit. ‘Di ako makasuporta sa kanya, at kung bakit, maging kagaya kay (Vice President) Leni (Robredo). E mga pro ano ‘yan e. ‘Yan nakakatakot ‘yan. Mga pro-communist ‘yan,” he added.

(I will tell you the reason why I won’t support Marcos. Just like Leni, he is a pro-communist. They are scary. They are pro-communists.)

GMA News Online sought comment from the camp of Robredo on Duterte’s “pro-communist” statement but has yet to receive a  reply.

Meanwhile, Duterte also mentioned his latest meeting with Pacquiao, wherein the President said he could not support the senator, who is also seeking the presidency next year.

Duterte recently met with Pacquiao as a renewal of friendship. The two had a rift after the senator criticized Duterte’s stance on the West Philippine Sea issue as well as making a claim that corruption worsened under the current administration.

“‘Yung nagkita kami, sabi ko kasi kausapin ko para diretsahan. Sabi niya (Pacquiao) ‘Magsama tayo for the sake of Mindanao.’ Sabi ko, ‘I am sorry, I cannot support you,'” he said.

Duterte also said he would remain loyal to supporting Go’s presidential bid.

Guiding Go

In a November 9 event in Antipolo, Go became emotional in revealing his changes for election plans after Sara dropped her reelection bid.

But the older Duterte said he advised Go to choose the presidency instead of the vice presidency.

“Nagbibigay ako ng guidance sa kanya (Go). Eh sabi niya (Go) tatakbo si Inday. Magwi-withdraw na lang siya, ayaw na niya. Eh sabi ko bakit? Nag-umpisa ka na. Eh ‘di tumakbo ka na lang ng Presidente. Eh ganu’n naman pala ang gagawin sa ‘yo eh, kasa ka na,” he said.

“Umiiyak si Bong. Sabi ko ‘wag kang umiyak. Sabi ko bakit ka iiyak? Ayan oh bukas ang Presidente. Tumakbo ka,” Duterte further explained. (MNS)

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