Baste apologizes for resignation call

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Baste apologizes for resignation call
Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte delivers a speech during the Hakbang Maisug Leader’s forum in Davao City on January 28, 2024.
STAR / Diana Lhyd Suelto

MANILA, Philippines — For demanding in a speech on Sunday the resignation of President Marcos, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte has already apologized, according to Sen. Imee Marcos, who dismissed his outburst as one spawned by fear of the possible arrest of his father and sister by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Mayor Baste approached me to say sorry over and over again. I understood him for being emotional because of concerns that his father and sister may be arrested,” Marcos said in an ambush interview at the Senate.

“He will really have an emotional outburst,” she added.

Asked by reporters about the Duterte patriarch’s calling her brother a drug addict, the senator just shrugged it off.

“I’m not involved there. They can handle it alone,” Marcos said. “Nakakaloka (It’s insane). That’s all I have to say.”

The Davao City mayor is a son of former president Rodrigo Duterte and a brother to Vice President Sara Duterte, who is a friend and political ally of Senator Marcos.

The former president is under investigation by the ICC for possible crime against humanity, specifically for the killing of thousands of alleged drug offenders and other suspected criminals.

Marcos: Sara stays as DepEd chief

In Hanoi where he was on a state visit, President Marcos said his partnership with the Vice President remains the same despite the recent tirades against him by her father.

“It’s exactly the same because she hasn’t said anything of that nature…So it hasn’t changed,” Marcos told Manila-based reporters covering his two-day state visit.

Asked if he is keeping Duterte as his education chief, Marcos, quickly responded, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.”

Asked if the UniTeam, the alliance formed during the May 2022 elections between him and Duterte, is still intact, the President answered, “I think so. I believe so.”

“Because if you remember, UniTeam is not just one party or two parties or three parties, it is the unification of all political forces in the Philippines to come together for the good of the country. And that is still there,” he said. “It is still vibrant and it is still worth it and will continue on that basis.”

Last week, the older Duterte accused Marcos of being a drug addict in an expletive-filled speech in Davao City, the latest in a series of events that showed a deepening rift between the two families.

The former president said Marcos was even on the drug watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. PDEA denied Marcos had ever been on its drug list.

Asked to react to Duterte’s tirades, Marcos said on Monday the use of fentanyl may have taken a toll on his predecessor’s behavior.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said it remains focused on its mandate and is not taking sides in the political squabble between the President and his predecessor.

“Our chief of staff has already released a statement, that we remain united, we remain professional and we are non-partisan,” AFP spokesperson, Col. Francel Margareth Padilla, told reporters yesterday.

“In our national effort to usher in this vision, the AFP shall remain to be a highly professional military organization, loyal to the Constitution, the chain of command and our people,” AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said in a statement on Monday. — Neil Jason Servallos, Michael Punongbayan

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