President Rodrigo Duterte has called presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos a "weak leader" who comes with "baggage", staying on the offensive against his daughter's running mate.
Sen. Bong Go, the 76-year-old leader's annointed successor and longtime aide, is an "honest worker", the President said in a portion of a speech in Oriental Mindoro taped Thursday and aired on Friday.
Duterte was asked if his PDP-Laban or PDDS parties would coalesce with Lakas-CMD, under which Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Caprio is seeking the vice presidency.
"No, I cannot, because nandiyan si Marcos... He's really a weak leader. Totoo yan. Hindi ako naninira ng tao. Talagang weak, kasi spoiled child, only son," he said.
The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos may be articulate in English, having studied abroad, but the President said Marcos Jr. doesn't strike him as someone who can handle crisis.
"He's a weak leader, at saka may bagahe siya," Duterte said.
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Referring to Go, Duterte said: "Itong si Bong, naghahanap ako ng tao na honest at trabahante talaga," he said.
In another portion of the same speaking engagement released late Thursday, Duterte said a presidential aspirant was a cocaine user, without directly referring to Marcos.
Marcos Jr is seeking a political revivial of his family three decades after they were forced to exile by a bloodless revolt. Allegations that the family stole $10 billion and were reponsible to the deaths and disappearances of thousands during martial law have hounded his campaign.
His candidacy for president under his own Partido Federal is being challenged by at least four petitions before the Comelec lodged by rights activists and martial law victims.
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