‘Bongbong may run with Miriam’
Ariel Paolo Tejada (The Philippine Star) - October 14, 2015 - 10:00am

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. may run with presidential contender Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago in the 2016 elections, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos bared yesterday.

“Miriam indicated that she likes Bongbong. Let us see. It was the first time I heard about it and I was surprised and very happy,” she told reporters.

She confirmed that her brother’s camp has been in talks with Santiago regarding a possible tandem.

UPDATE: Miriam confirms teamup with Bongbong

“They had meetings. Bongbong is her favorite. Even in the Senate, she is always talking with him,” Gov. Marcos said in Filipino.

During a book-signing event at Makati City on Tuesday, Santiago said that she was running for president and she had a running mate in mind but whom she declined to name. She only said “he has already announced (his bid for the vice presidency).”

Sen. Marcos filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president on Tuesday.

Sen. Marcos’ mother, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, defense minister of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., attended the launchin of the young Marcos’ candidacy.

The family of Estrada is also expected to support Sen. Marcos. San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez has expressed support for Marcos.

“I believe in Bongbong Marcos. I think we are going to go with Mayor Erap’s decision. As a family, I think we will go with that,” Gomez said.

Gomez also said she admires the qualifications and track record of Sen. Marcos, who served as vice governor, governor and congressional representative of his province before being elected senator in 2010. The ties between the Marcoses and the Estradas started in 1967 when Estrada became mayor of San Juan City and supported the senator’s father and namesake.

Enrile on Miriam’s presidential bid

Enrile admitted that he was surprised that Sen. Marcos might be running with Santiago, whom Enrile had bitter arguments with in the past.

“I never thought about that. I do not know whether Bongbong would want to be a running-mate of anybody,” he said. “Let us not use suppositions. We do not know. He has not selected anybody yet.”

Asked if the country would be in good hands if Santiago becomes president, Enrile said in jest: “I will not be here anyway, so bahala na kayo (it is up to you) at that point.”

“I am afraid. She is too brilliant… She has been running for president for how many times already… Anyway, I was just joking. I thought she was sick of stage four cancer,” he added.

However, Enrile said he thinks Santiago is serious in her declaration of her presidential bid.

“We’ll see. There was nothing better to do except to run for president. If she was quoted correctly, I can base my assessment about the seriousness of her candidacy on the basis of her statement so I’d rather keep my conclusion,” he added.

Cayetano still hopes Duterte will run for president

Meanwhile, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano denied yesterday that he is the vice presidential running mate of Santiago.

In an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Cayetano quoted Santiago as saying that she has talked to her candidate for vice president.

“We haven’t talked. A common friend asked me if I could be her running mate and I said I am committed to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte,” Cayetano said.

Besides, he said, Santiago announced that her candidate has filed his COC.

“I have not filed my COC. I will do it on Friday,” he said. – With Jess Diaz, Marvin Sy, Christina Mendez, Non Alquitran

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