Except for Vice President, Dutertes skip President Marcos events

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Except for Vice President, Dutertes skip President Marcos events
President Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte witness the signing of contracts for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines — Despite a testy exchange about drug use with former president Rodrigo Duterte, President Marcos said he has a lot of fond memories and made lifetime friends in Davao City.

Marcos made the remarks during the ceremonial turnover of electronic land titles to over 2,000 beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program at the Rizal Memorial Colleges Gym in Davao City, with Mayor Sebastian Duterte nowhere to be seen.

Anyone surnamed Duterte was absent when Marcos visited Davao yesterday – except for Vice President Sara Duterte, the daughter of the former president and sister of the mayor.

“I’m happy to be back here in Davao. I had so many fond memories with the Davaoeños,” he told the audience in Filipino, which included Sara, also the concurrent education secretary.

“I made lifelong friendships here. I cannot lose my love for Davao and its people,” the President said.

The Vice President also joined Marcos at the celebration of the 125th founding anniversary of the Department of Transportation and the ceremonial signing of the civil works contracts for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

The country’s highest officials were seen seated beside each other during the land title distribution and the signing of the DOTr project events.

Sara Duterte, Marcos’s runningmate in the May 2022 polls, introduced the President during the two events.

Marcos credited the Vice President for the public transport modernization project, saying it was first conceptualized during her term as mayor of Davao City.

However, incumbent Mayor Baste, who last month expressed dissatisfaction with the President and asked him to resign, was a no-show.

In an interview in Vietnam, Marcos said his relationship with the Vice President remains intact and that the UniTeam, the political coalition formed during the 2022 elections, still exists.

In his speech during the distribution of e-titles, Marcos said he brought with him several members of his Cabinet, including Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III, indicating his administration’s whole-of-nation approach to attain economic progress, especially in Mindanao.

The former president and his ally, former House speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, had earlier pushed for separation of Mindanao from the Philippines.

Marcos distributed at least 2,529 land titles to 2,672 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Davao City and the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental. 

Farmers’ freedom from hunger and poverty will not be achieved only through the distribution of land titles, the President stressed, lamenting they remain to be among the country’s poorest sectors.

Apart from giving them lands, he said his administration is also distributing seedlings, fertilizers and other equipment to farmers.

Marcos said he inherited his love for farmers from his father, the late President Marcos Sr., who signed Presidential Decree 27, which emancipated all tenant farmers working on private lands.

Marcos signed last year the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which makes 610,054 Filipino farmers free from P57.65 billion in agrarian arrears. 

DAR distributed over 90,000 land titles in 2023, which is 40,000 higher than the 50,000 target, according to Marcos.

Earlier in the day, Marcos conducted an aerial inspection of the areas affected by flooding in the region with Private Sector Advisory Council head Sabin Aboitiz and Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo.

The President also led the inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project of the Aboitiz-led Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. in partnership with the Davao City Water District.

In the afternoon, Marcos presided over a situation briefing with Cabinet and local officials on the flooding caused by the shear line and low- pressure area in the Davao region.

The Vice President joined the briefing. — Emmanuel Tupas

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with