Will the President back Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.? (2)

PHILIPPINES - In Brief 22 Nov 2021 by Romeo Bernardo

The odds have practically fallen to zero following the President’s non-cryptic remark last week that a presidential candidate uses cocaine. Without naming Marcos (popularly called by his nickname “Bongbong” and shortened to “BBM”), he described the candidate as rich but said that he was a “weak leader, except for the name,” at the same time wondering aloud what the person has done to deserve the public’s “fascination” with him.

Even as listeners promptly made the logical connection to BBM, the latter’s spokesperson said that “we don’t feel alluded to.” So far, the President has refused to name the rich drug user but over the weekend, called BBM spoiled and a weak leader.

Political analysts are one in tracing the President’s newfound animosity towards BBM to the relegation of Sara Duterte’s candidacy from the top slot to the vice presidency, while he, the father, was kept in the dark. However, beyond wanting to weaken or perhaps eliminate BBM altogether, the President’s end game is unclear. As we said in our first installment on this topic[1], considering latest opinion polls, a cold calculation ought to inform the President that he has the best chances of securing his future under a BBM presidency.

Some quarters think that the remark was just an ill-considered outburst said in anger, similar to his many borderline slanderous comments in the past. Others think that given his success in the mid-term elections three years ago, h...

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