Anybody but Marcos as Duterte’s Vice President—Joma Sison
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison on Friday balked at the idea of his friend, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, choosing Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as his running mate in next year’s presidential election.
“I don’t think [Duterte] would make the mistake. There are better running mates for him,” Sison said in an online interview with the Inquirer.
Asked who he thought was the best running mate for Duterte, Sison replied: “Bongbong is the worst kind. So anyone else is better.”
On Monday, after announcing that he was making an independent run for the vice presidency in next year’s national elections, Marcos claimed that Duterte had promised to support him.
But Duterte immediately clarified that his promise was limited to entertaining the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos if he was campaigning in Davao.
Sison warned Duterte that picking Marcos for his running mate would have grave repercussions on his political plans.
He said Duterte would immediately become disreputable if he chose Marcos.
Sison, however, was tight-lipped when asked if he would support Duterte should the mayor decide to run for President.
He confirmed that the Makabayan bloc, a group of leftist lawmakers in the House of Representatives, was inclined to support the presidential candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe.
Sison noted that Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, endorsed Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares as a senatorial candidate on their team and both attended his proclamation.
“They have also been reported to be in favor of resuming peace negotiations with the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and coming quickly to a just and lasting peace on the basis of comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms,” Sison said.
But is Duterte running?
Duterte, who admits to being a leftist and friend of communist New People’s Army rebels, has said he is not running for President.
He has also said that he will retire from politics after the end of his term as mayor next year.
According to his camp, however, Duterte is expected to announce before the end of the filing of certificates of candidacy on Oct. 16 that he is shelving his plan to retire and is running for President.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who announced last week that he was running for Vice President, on Wednesday said he believed Duterte would run for President and hoped he would pick him as his running mate.
Cayetano said he would still support Duterte even if the mayor chooses someone else for a running mate.
He said Duterte had made statements outlining his plan of government.
“This gives a glimmer of hope to supporters that he will run,” Cayetano said.
He added that he would help Duterte win.
“If he runs, I will campaign for him. I will sacrifice some of my resources, I’ll sacrifice my time to campaign for him,” Cayetano said.
If Duterte chooses him as his running mate, that will be a “bonus,” he said.
“If not, I will still be committed to him,” he added.
Besides Marcos, Escudero and Cayetano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo are also running for Vice President.
Trillanes is running as an independent while Robredo is the running mate of the ruling Liberal Party’s standard-bearer, Mar Roxas.
A likely addition to the field is Sen. Gregorio Honasan, who is being wooed by the opposition United Nationalist Alliance to be the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay. With a report from Leila B. Salaverria in Manila
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