President Rodrigo Duterte has not yet endorsed any presidential candidate, contrary to a circulating altered photo that shows him approvingly holding a shirt with a print of Uniteam’s Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte.
Facebook account Margaret Gardiner Gingo posted the doctored photo on March 20 with the caption “PRRD to PBBM.” PRRD stands for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. PBBM refers to President Bongbong Marcos.
The original picture can be found in a video posted by Facebook page KLC Happy Thoughts and Cellphone Repair on March 17 in which Duterte was holding a white hoodie with the text “Salamat PRRD” printed on it. Salamat means thank you.
The faction of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan backed by the president has recently declared its support for Marcos, but party leader Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said it does not mean Duterte is also supporting Marcos.
On March 16, Duterte said he will remain neutral unless there will be a compelling reason for him to support a certain candidate.
In an interview on March 12 with SMNI, Duterte said he hopes the next president will be a lawyer. At 1:05:40 mark, he said:
Second he must be decisive, pag ganun wag kang matakot (you don’t have to be afraid). It's the best quality but one of the good qualities of a president sana abogado (hopefully, a lawyer).
Of the 10 candidates vying for the presidency, only Vice President Leni Robredo and Jose Montemayor are lawyers.
As of March 22, the altered photo has garnered 258 reactions and 134 shares. (KC)