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Duterte contradicts earlier claim on Marcos kin's support

In this Oct. 23, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gives some guidance to Ilocos del Norte officials during a briefing on Super Typhoon Lawin at Laoag Airport in Ilocos Norte. Also in the photo is Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos. PPD/Toto Lozano

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has denied receiving help from the Marcos family despite his previous admission that the influential political clan supported him during last year's presidential campaign.

Duterte made the remarks in a media interview in the besieged southern city of Marawi on Thursday, Sept. 21, while massive demonstrations were held in Manila on that day as the country marked the 45th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' martial law declaration.

"The Marcoses never supported me for the last 40 years that I have been a public official. And I have never lost an election," Duterte said.

"You must be an idiot or a moron, like the one who said that I am a moron because I surrendered to the Marcoses," he added.

In his first live interview on Philippine television after assuming the presidency last year, Duterte said that he has a debt of gratitude to at least three persons, including Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.

The president earlier claimed that the eldest child of the ousted dictator was among the politicians who funded his presidential campaign.

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However, he did not declare the younger Marcos as a campaign donor in his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures. Under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates and political parties are required to file a "full, true and itemized" SOCE 30 days after election day.

The Ilocos Norte governor, in turn,  dismissed Duterte's claims and said that the president was only joking.

"Ang totoo wala naman donasyon and there's no sinister x-deal behind the curtain somewhere. It's absolutely untrue and I'd like to disabuse that," the younger Marcos said in an interview with ANC last November.

Last year, Duterte granted the longstanding wish of the Marcos family to bury the strongman's remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in a surprise ceremony.

He also declared September 11 a special non-working day in Ilocos Norte upon the family's request to mark the ex-leader's 100th birthday anniversary.

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