At the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his elder sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos set foot again at Malacañan Palace, which used to be their home for 20 years during the reign of their father Ferdinand.
The two appeared very happy, with Bongbong, a defeated vice presidential candidate, flashing a V sign when a camera of government television PTV 4 passed him.
He was seated in front of the Rizal Hall beside incoming Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd and Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito while Imee was seated at the next row right at his back and beside newly elected Sen. Richard Gordon.
Malacanang was the home of the Marcoses since 1965 when the patriarch was first elected.
The family continued to occupy the Palace until early 1986 when they were forced to vacate it at the height of a popular “people power” uprising in February.
Last April 28, two years ago, Bongbong was at the same venue during the visit of United States President Barack Obama.
“But he was there because all senators were invited to meet Obama,” a staff of Marcos told The Manila Times on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on behalf of the former lawmaker.
The staff said the Marcos siblings arrived at the Palace in separate private cars since they were issued car passes both to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City (Metro Manila) and Malacañang in Manila.
Meanwhile, news circulating in the Marcos circle after the May 9 elections again surfaced when Bongbong was asked if he is willing to serve under the Duterte administration.
“If you are offered any position by any President, that is tantamount to an order from the President. So, of course, I would happily take on any responsibility that the President would give me,” he told reporters at a news conference that he called right after he filed his electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal at the Supreme Court last Wednesday afternoon.
Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo won over Marcos by more than 200,000 votes.
A law prohibits any defeated candidate to be appointed to any government post within one year right after the elections.
Duterte had said Marcos is his special friend and that he owes him some gratitude.
The father of Duterte served under Ferdinand Marcos’ administration.
The new President had said he would allow the burial of Bongbong’s father at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
While the younger Marcos attended Duterte’s inauguration, Robredo held hers at the Boracay Mansion in New Manila, Quezon City.
According to the camp of Duterte, they did not hold a common inauguration because a venue for the purpose inside the Palace is too small and they did not want to restrict the number of supporters of the former Camarines Sur lawmaker.
The Marcoses earned the respect of Duterte after they gave him a resounding victory in their province–Ilocos Norte.
In Bicol Region, the bailiwick of Robredo, Duterte got very few votes.
Duterte, in an interview after the May 9 elections said he does not want to hurt the feelings of the younger Marcos by giving Robredo a position in his Cabinet.
Robredo’s camp also on Thursday said they are arranging a meeting between the Vice President and the President.
Marcos on Wednesday said he is confident that his protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal will be decided in one year because of convincing pieces of evidence that they will present before the Supreme Court.