“Youth Bloc Urges Vice President Duterte to Advocate for President Marcos”

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A new “youth bloc” in the House of Representatives has recently called on Vice President Sara Duterte to persuade her family members to support President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration. This request comes at a time when the rift between President Marcos and his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, the vice president’s father, continues to deepen.

President Duterte has been vocal in his criticism of Marcos, labeling him as a “drug addict.” In addition, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, the vice president’s brother, has demanded Marcos’ resignation. The President, however, has countered these claims by suggesting that Duterte’s remarks are influenced by the painkiller fentanyl that he is taking.

The group behind the call, known as the Young Guns, consists of Representatives Jefferson Khonghun of Zambales, Francisco Paolo Ortega 5th of La Union, Zia Alonto Adiong of Lanao del Sur, and Faustino “Inno” Dy 5th of Isabela. During a press briefing on Tuesday, the Young Guns introduced themselves and expressed their hope that Vice President Duterte would engage in a conversation with her father and brother to convince them to support President Marcos. They believe that Marcos is committed to bringing progress and peace to the country.

Representative Ortega emphasized that the UniTeam, the alliance between Marcos and Duterte during the 2022 elections, remains intact. According to him, the promises made during the election are now being felt by their constituents. Ortega stated, “The promises that they made during the election are now being felt in our district, and I’m sure our constituents now feel the government today.”

Similarly, Representative Adiong believes that the UniTeam is still solid and has transformed into a concrete and actionable plan, leading to the “Bagong Pilipinas” campaign. He stated, “I don’t think there is a crack in it because our government is solid, our legislature is solid. The vice president came out with a statement that she does not agree with the pronouncement of her family. She, in fact, supports the President. So, that is an indication of unity.”

Despite the controversies surrounding her office, Vice President Duterte has denied any split within the UniTeam. In an interview during her official visit to Malaysia as the president of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (Seameo), she affirmed her good relationship with President Marcos. She stated, “We have no problem with each other. President [Marcos] and I are doing good, and we are OK in our relationship.”

Regarding her relationship with First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, who was seen “snubbing” her during the President’s departure honors to Vietnam, Vice President Duterte chose not to comment. Speculations about strained relations between her and Duterte arose, particularly after the “Hakbang ng Maisug” event in Davao City last January 28. Duterte mentioned that she has not spoken with her father and brother since the event but did not elaborate further.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how Vice President Duterte’s relationship with her family and her support for President Marcos will evolve. The Young Guns’ call for unity and progress highlights the ongoing dynamics within the political landscape of the Philippines.

Source: The Manila Times

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