ON SENATORIAL BID | Palace: Duterte’s endorsement of Imee, Jinggoy will not affect drive vs corruption

1 week ago

(FEBRUARY 9, 2019) – Malacañang on Monday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of senatorial candidates facing corruption charges and other related cases.

Duterte had included in his Senate slate former senator Jinggoy Estrada, who is currently facing plunder charges in relation with the pork barrel scam.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, whose family’s supposed ill-gotten wealth is continuously being retrieved by the government, had also been endorsed by the President.

Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in today’s briefing said the endorsements will not tarnish Duterte’s aggressive drive against corruption.

“He has done so many unpopular decisions and yet his ratings remain popular. This man couldn’t care less,” Panelo said.

The spokesperson added Estrada has not been convicted anyway, so he is presumed innocent.

Duterte’s tough stance on corruption had costed many government officials their posts. But in the former senator’s case, the President has not been presented evidence of the supposed corruption.

“A whiff of corruption does not mean a reckless receipt of an allegation of corruption and a decision to fire the person subject of that information. The President is a lawyer, he investigates,” Panelo said.

In Marcos’ case, however, Panelo said Duterte is “indebted” to her for being one of the governors that helped him in his campaign.

“He is endorsing Imee because he is indebted to her… Utang na loob ata ‘yung kay Imee,” the spokesperson said.

The Sandiganbayan had rejected an appeal for deferment of ruling on a billion-peso civil forfeiture case against Imee’s parents Imelda and Ferdinand Sr.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government through the case sought to recover a total of P1.052 billion in ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses and their cronies. The wealth consists of stock shares and real properties.