President Rodrigo Duterte has not officially announced his presidential and vice presidential picks for the May elections, contrary to a claim of a YouTube channel that he has endorsed the candidacies of Ferdinand Marcos Jr and presidential daughter Sara Duterte.
Philippine Trending News’ March 4 video, titled “JUST IN: SAWAKAS (Finally)! PDUTERTE CONFIRMED! OFFICIALLY INDORSE (sic) BBM-SARA UNITEAM,” misreported Duterte’s speech during the inauguration of the Narvacan Farmers Market in Ilocos Sur that day.
The video merely mentioned Duterte telling the audience to “choose an Ilocano leader.” It said at the 1:33 mark:
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave hints of his candidate endorsement after his speech in Narvacan. He said that Ilocos Sur voters may vote for an Ilocano leader at the Malacanang because most of its Cabinet members hail from the Ilocos region and only a few from Visayas or Mindanao.
In the original video of the speech, Duterte only said he was leaving it to Ilocano voters to choose the Ilocano leader they’d like to put in Malacanang when his term ends. He said at the 30:44 mark:
But you know in my Cabinet, only four or three of us are from Visayas, and the rest are Ilocanos. That’s why when I leave the Malacanang, just choose which Ilocano leader you will put there.
Presidential Communications Secretary and acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar also struck down claims that Duterte is supporting Marcos’ bid. He said in his March 8 press briefing:
Previously in several instances, the president has repeatedly said that he does not support any presidential candidate unless there is a compelling reason. And if you would recall our interview with the president, he clearly said – he may or he may not. So, let us just wait for the president’s decision.
Whatever he said in Ilocos, you know the president, he likes to play with words and he loves to horse around.
Andanar was referring to his Feb. 25 “Cabinet Report” interview with Duterte where he asked about the president’s decision not to support a presidential candidate. Duterte answered:
I may or I may not (endorse a candidate) but preferably, I’d like to stay neutral. Ibig sabihin wala akong susuportahan na kandidato (This means I’m not supporting any candidate), unless again having said it, I’ll say it again, there’ll be a compelling reason for me to go out and tell the people what it is.
The president added:
Until now I have yet to decide whether or not to support a candidate. At this time nobody is in my mind actually.
When Andanar clarified with Duterte if he would support his daughter Sara’s vice presidential bid, Duterte remained undecided, saying:
We do not talk about politics either inside the --- except for once. Pero ayaw ko na lang i-discuss kasi hindi kasi maganda (I don’t want to discuss it because it’s not good). It was between father and daughter. But it was also a conversation about politics pero sa amin na ‘yun (but it was between us). Lessons learned along the way. So hanggang ngayon wala akong masabi sa bagay na ‘yan (So until now, I cannot say anything about that).
As of March 9, Philippine Trending News’ video has garnered 140,881 views and around 2,600 likes. A duplicate of the YouTube video was posted March 5 but did not gain traction. (JC)