MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, December 8, to urge Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to choose Marcos as his running mate.
Supporters of Marcos, who is running for vice president, gathered in front of the Comelec as early as 8 am on Tuesday, alongside sympathizers of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
It was a sea of Duterte-Marcos and Duterte-Cayetano banners, as supporters waited for Duterte to visit the Comelec. (READ: Duterte 'reaffirms' presidential bid in Comelec)
(See the banners in the video below)
Cayetano is Duterte’s chosen vice presidential bet. Still, Marcos loyalists said the mayor known as “The Punisher” should choose the dictator’s son instead.
Dave Diwa, 63, explained that in recent surveys, Duterte has fared the lowest in the island group of Luzon.
In a recent Social Weather Stations survey, most respondents in the Philippines, at 38%, said they will vote for Duterte as president.
Broken down into island groups, the survey showed 26% will vote for Duterte in Luzon, 44% in the Visayas, and 50% in Mindanao.
Diwa said: “Ang weakest point ni Duterte ay Luzon, north Luzon. Kaya si Bongbong, kung magkakatulungan sila, tiyak na ‘yung panalo ni Duterte.” (The weakest point of Duterte is Luzon, north Luzon. So if he and Bongbong can help each other, Duterte will surely win.)
Ilocos Norte, which is located in Northern Luzon, is Marcos’ bailiwick and the birthplace of his father.
Long-time Marcos loyalists
Diwa also addressed criticisms that Marcos’ father was behind human rights abuses, including the murder of critics.
Referring to the younger Marcos, Diwa said: “Sinabi mo, anak lang naman siya e. Wala naman siyang kinalaman sa mga nangyari.” (You yourself said it, he’s just the son. He didn’t know anything about what happened.)
Carrying a pro-Marcos banner, 59-year-old Julita Orolfo, for her part, said she is supporting the younger Marcos because she also supported his father.
Lito Gomez, 59, is also supporting Marcos because he once supported the late dictator.
Gomez defended the senator’s father despite human rights charges against him.
“E hindi naman siya corrupt, kasi lahat naman ng kinuha, nandoon naman sa Malacañang,” he said. (But he is not corrupt, because everything he got remains in Malacañang.) – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.