MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is not keen on serving as the Interior and Local Government secretary.
“I don't think so... He's not interested,” Duterte said in a televised ambush interview when asked if Marcos will accept the DILG post.
Vice President Leni Robredo in mid-February revealed in an interview with ANC’s Headstart that there had been previous talks that her rival, Marcos, would be given a Cabinet post.
She said the plan was originally slated “as early as the inauguration” in June 2016. Still, since he was defeated, he was not allowed by the Constitution to hold a Cabinet post because appointment must be a year after losing the polls.
Robredo acknowledged Duterte’s right to choose his Cabinet appointees but she described the possible appointment as “scary” since there have been several decisions asking the Marcoses to give back ill-gotten wealth amassed during the rule of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“It’s always the president’s privilege who to appoint in his Cabinet but my concern here is that the Marcoses have not paid for what they did to the country,” Robredo said.
"And now, he’s aiming for another Cabinet position, and that for me, that’s scary in a sense that he will again be given an opportunity to do what they did before," she added.
Meanwhile, Bongbong has a pending poll protest against Robredo. He accused the latter of cheating during the 2016 elections.
Asked if Bongbong’s possible acceptance of the DILG post means an abandonment of the protest against her, Robredo refused to comment. She instead explained that it can technically be not considered as an abandonment.
“Mayroong dalawang schools of thought. Ang dalawang schools of thought, iyong umpisa considered siyang abandonment. Ang isa namang school of thought hindi siya considered na abandonment kasi appointed na position,” Robredo said in a separate ambush interview last week.
“Mahirap kasi para sa aking mag-comment kasi hindi ako un-biased na mag-ko-comment. At saka mahirap we've been cautioned also not to expound so much on the case kaya siguro iiwanan ko na lang iyan sa ganyan,” she added.
Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said that Marcos' electoral protest against Robredo would be considered moot and academic if he accepts the DILG post.