LAOAG CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who vowed to remain neutral for the May 9, 2022 national elections, told a crowd in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur recently. to “choose an Ilocano leader they favor.”
Without mentioning the name of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who is the only Ilocano candidate vying for the country’s top leadership, Duterte said many Ilocanos are members of his Cabinet.
“In my Cabinet, apat o tatlo na lang kaming Bisaya, ang naiwan puro mga Ilokano na (in my Cabinet, there are only four or three of us who are Bisaya, the rest are Ilocanos,)” he pointed out. It was not the first time the President talked about Ilocanos as his close allies and considers them as “bright and handsome” in many ways.
“Kaya ibigay ko na lang ito isang buwan aalis na ako sa Malacañan, mamili na kayo kung sinong Ilocano na lider ilagay ninyo doon (That’s why I will give my office away shortly. I will soon leave Malacañang, so choose the Ilocano leader you want to stay there),” he said in his speech, which earned a big round of applause and cheers from the crowd.
Duterte mentioned Secretaries William Dar of Agriculture and Silvestre Bello III of Labor as among the Ilocanos in his team. His daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, who is Marcos’ running mate for vice presidency, is married to an Ilocano from Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The President, however, has vowed to “stay neutral” and not endorse any presidential candidate.
Duterte visited Narvacan at the invitation of Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson to grace the formal inauguration of a state-of-the-art Narvacan Farmers Market installed with solar panel roofing to reduce the cost of electricity and lessen carbon footprint emissions. (PNA)