“Kung manalo siya sa protest niya baka bago ang ating bise presidente,” says President Rodrigo Duterte as he introduces former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr during an event in Beijing.
It seems President Rodrigo Duterte is not really convinced that Vice President Leni Robredo is the rightful owner of the VP throne. The presidential elections maybe over, but it did not stop the president from bringing-up the alleged electoral fraud committed by the Liberal Party.
Duterte is still enamored with former Senator Bongbong Marcos who, together with older sister and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, traveled with the president.
Duterte introduced Marcos before a large Filipino community in Beijing hotel Wednesday.
Marcos was onstage with Duterte, along with his sister Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and Cabinet officials.
“Si Bongbong, ah si Bongbong…Kung manalo siya sa protest niya baka bago ang ating bise presidente,” said Duterte as the Filipino audience clapped and cheered loudly for Marcos.
(Bingbong, I mean Bongbong…If he wins in his election protest, maybe we will have a new vice president.)
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, also onstage with Duterte, got an introduction as well.
Duterte said, “Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, bright ‘yan, makita ‘nyo naman sa TV.” (Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, he’s bright, as you can see on TV.)
Cayetano was one of Marcos’ rivals for the vice presidency in the May 2016 elections, coming in 3rd.
Robredo won over Marcos by a small margin, and the latter protested Robredo’s victory, claiming it was a product of poll fraud. (READ: Robredo vs Marcos: The long and winding road to the vice presidency)
Duterte, citing his friendship with the Marcoses, initially postponed giving Robredo a Cabinet position. He later appointed her as housing czar.
Marcos, in an ambush interview after Duterte’s speech, said he is not making a big deal out of the President’s words.
“He is just behaving as a friend and I am very lucky that I have a friend in the President,” he said.
Asked if it made him feel awkward, given the presence of Cayetano, Marcos said, “No, I don’t, because whatever political support that we give to the President is because of our belief in what he is doing and our agreement with his policies.”
The presence of Marcos and his sister Imee came as a surprise to media since their names were not on the list of the Philippine delegation.