President Rodrigo Duterte said a few weeks ago that he cannot dissociate himself from the Marcoses. Part of the reason was the fact that his father, Vicente Duterte, served as one of the Cabinet members of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Another reason would be that his son-in-law’s family hails from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, giving him blood relations to Ilokanos.
Yet another reason would be the fact that Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos even borrowed money to donate to his election campaign when only had a few supporters.
“Sino sa inyo ang nagsuporta sa akin? Ilan lang? 4, 5, 6? Wala akong barangay captain, wala akong congressman. Wala akong pera. Si Imee pa ang nagbigay. Sabi niya inutang daw niya. Imee supported me,” Duterte said during the Third Sulong Pilipinas Convention at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City on October 4.
He made this statement after spotting Marcos in the crowd.
Not in Duterte’s SOCE
However, Marcos’ said donation was not reflected in Duterte’s Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE).
Rappler reported that incomplete SOCEs are considered as “not filed,” as per Comelec rules. Failure to file one’s SOCE prevents the winning candidate from assuming office.
However, there are no clear rules as to what might happen to winning candidates who have been sworn into office.
Those who failed to file their SOCEs may be required to pay P1,000 to P30,000 as penalty.
Comelec said last week that they need a formal complaint before they can launch any investigation into Marcos’ alleged contribution to Duterte’s campaign kitty.
“The Comelec cannot act unless a formal complaint has been lodged,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said.
“Whoever is interested can file a complaint,” he added.
Jimenez said that Duterte’s remarks are not enough to start a motu propio investigation, considering the “many uncertainties” in those remarks and the possibility that he “misspoke.”
However, he said that those same remarks can be used to lodge a formal complaint to launch a Comelec probe.
Imee denied being Duterte’s election contributor
On Monday, October 17, Marcos dismissed Duterte’s remarks about her contributing to his campaign kitty as a joke.
“Wala namang katotohanan ‘yan. Palabiro lang ang Presidente Duterte, pinapalundag niya tayong lahat, pati ako, napalundag eh,” she told the media outside the Supreme Court, where she mingled with supporters of her late father’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
She added that her only contribution to Duterte’s campaign was to pitch votes for the then-Davao City mayor in the “Solid North” provinces, where the Marcoses remain influential.
Former Senator Bongbong Marcos was the running mate of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Marcos said that she supported Duterte without asking for anything in return.
“Sinuportahan natin siya (Duterte) at walang kapalit,” she said.
Marcos was referring to accusations from Martial Law victims who said that the Marcoses cut a deal with Duterte by funding his campaign in exchange for allowing her father to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery.
“It now appears that Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is the payback for the payment he admitted receiving from Ms. [Imee] Marcos. And that the campaign promise was not one made generally to the electorate, but specifically to Imee and the Marcos family, in exchange for monetary support for his presidential bid,” said Etta Rosales, a former chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights and a victim of martial law.
“Inamin naman ni Imee nung nagsabi si Presidente Rodrigo Duterte na thank you for the contribution, nag-smile si Imee very sweetly at inamin naman nya,” Rosales added, in reaction to Marcos smiling widely after Duterte’s ‘donation’ remarks.
Now, we’re confused. Just who should we believe in? Who is telling the truth? Is it Duterte or is it Imee?