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Marcos spox: No rift between Duterte, Bongbong

There is no rift nor differences between President Rodrigo Duterte and presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the latter's spokesman Attorney Vic Rodriguez said Wednesday.

Rodriguez was asked in a television interview if Marcos' camp is still "courting" the President for his endorsement in the Eleksyon 2022 presidential race. Marcos' running mate for the coming elections is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the daughter of the Chief Executive.

"Walang pinag-awayan, walang diperensya si PRRD at si presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. Mayroon lang talagang proseso. Kami ay nabibilang sa Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. Si Pangulo naman ay napapabilang sa PDDS at nandiyan pa rin naman ang kanyang core group sa PDP-Laban," Rodriguez said in an interview on ANC.

(There's no quarrel nor differences between President Rodrigo Duterte and presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. There's just a process. We are part of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas while the President is part of PDDS (Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan) and there's his core group, the PDP-Laban.)

"Kailangan lang siguro mapag-usapan kung ano 'yung commonality of ideas and principles kung maaaring magsama at then eventually the President will make his own decision later on kung sino ang kanyang napupusuang i-endorso," he added.

(Discussions should be made to talk about the commonality of the parties' ideas and principles and if it's possible that we join forces. Eventually, the President will make his own decision later on who he will endorse.)

Rodriguez also said "courting" the President is an understatement since they have Mayor Sara with them. He added that they respect the processes in making an endorsement as this needs consultation from Duterte's parties.

Rodriguez, however, admitted that it is important to get the President's endorsement because of his approval rating.

"To be candid with you, importante din naman at mahalaga kung makukuha namin 'yung endorsement ni Pangulong Duterte sapagkat as we know, napakataas pa rin ng kanyang approval rating dahil nagtrabaho si PRRD nitong nakaraang anim na taon," Rodriguez said.

(It's important that we get President Duterte's endorsement because as we all know, his approval rating is high because of what he did in the past six years.)

On Monday, Duterte said he would not support any presidential candidate in Eleksyon 2022 unless he would see what he called "a compelling reason" to do so in the coming months.

He bared that almost all of those running for president asked him for support "in one way or the other."

In November however, Duterte called Marcos "a weak leader" as he ruled out a coalition then with his daughter Sara's Lakas-CMD.

"Hindi ako bilib. He is a weak leader. Totoo yan, 'di ako naninira, kasi spoiled child, only son," he added.

(I don't believe [in his capability]. He is a weak leader. That is true, I am not destroying him, because he is a spoiled child, only son.)

"He is a weak leader, totoo 'yan, I do not foist lies, masisira ka. Bantay kayo, [baka] magkamali ang Pilipinas," Duterte said.

(He is a weak leader, that is true. I do not foist lies, you will just be destoyed. Be vigilant, the Philippines might make a mistake.)

Red plate

Rodriguez was also asked on the issue of candidates' using red-plate vehicles or government vehicles during the campaign period.

Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez said a netizen tweeted him a photo of Marcos supposedly in a vehicle with a red plate. The photo was posted on Monday, February 7, a day before the official start of the campaign period for national positions.

Rodriguez said this happened during the visit and motorcade in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

Rodriguez said: "It was a very short ride from the sports complex all the way to the stage where the people have gathered, and that was February 7, the day before the start of the campaign period."

Debates, interviews

When it comes to attending presidential interviews and even debates, Rodriguez said their camp would first study the format of the show to determine if they will attend or not.

Marcos had skipped GMA Network's The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews and the presidential forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

Rodriguez said they will not join forums that will only result in disagreements among candidates, stressing that they are not avoiding these platforms but they only want to engage in discussions that will talk about solutions to the country's woes.

"Pagod na ang sambayanang Pilipino sa bangayan. Pagod na ang tao sa awayan. Ngayon kung tayo ay maglalagay lang ng forum para mag-enjoy at makitang nag-aaway si 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 candidates, hindi kami sasali diyan. Dahil alam namin ang gustong marinig ng taumbayan ay solusyon dito sa problemang ating kinahaharap," Rodriguez said.

(Filipinos are tired of quarrels. If the forum will only portray candidates expressing dissent among each other, we will not join them. We know that the public wants to hear solutions to the problems we are facing.)

Marcos had said that any media that is "anti-Marcos" is "biased." —KG, GMA News