Marcos on PDP-Laban faction supporting him: It’s a ‘tacit endorsement’ by Duterte

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Cagayan de Oro City (CNN Philippines, April 28) — President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to reveal the candidate whom he wants to succeed him, but Ferdinand Marcos Jr. believes the PDP-Laban faction's support for his presidential bid is already a “tacit endorsement” by the chief executive.

"You know, he allowed, as the chairman of the PDP, that he released the PDP to endorse Inday Sara (Duterte) and myself. So para sa akin (for me that’s a) tacit endorsement na 'yun (already)," Marcos said on Tuesday.

The PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier announced their support for the tandem of Marcos and the President's daughter, vice presidential bet Sara Duterte. However, the chief executive, who chairs the ruling party, is still mum about it after publicly endorsing his daughter.

Marcos said he understood that President Duterte just wanted to be fair to all the candidates at this stage in the campaign.

"That's okay...that position is very understandable for a president to take," Marcos added. "I understand why he wants to stay as if it were above the fray and be president and that's perfectly understandable."

Marcos has been saying in interviews that he sees the President as someone who likes to "keep everyone on their toes" with his surprises.

The President earlier called Marcos a "weak leader and a spoiled child,” but the son of the ousted dictator said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ In Private that the President’s remark was just plain politics.

The two had a meeting at Malacañang on March 20, but the President still did not endorse Marcos.

Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said the President just shared with Marcos some advice from the lessons that he learned since 2016.

'Crossing our fingers'

Marcos admitted that he is still hoping for the President's endorsement before the May 9 elections. He said the President's blessing would benefit his candidacy as the public trusts the Duterte administration so much.

Based on the latest Social Weather Stations survey, the President's net satisfaction rating rose to a "very good" 60 points in February from a "good" 52 points in September 2021.

"We're crossing our fingers that he will endorse but if not, I certainly understand. I think he has done everything for us, except actually endorsing us," Marcos said.

The PDP-Laban Cusi-wing, meanwhile, is also planning to hold joint campaign rallies with Marcos’ UniTeam Alliance soon. Cabinet Secretary and PDP-Laban secretary-general Melvin Matibag said he is also hoping that the President would show up in the joint rally.