Beso-beso for President Marcos, Vice President at PNPA graduation

Helen Flores, Sheila Crisostomo, Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
Beso-beso for President Marcos, Vice President at PNPA graduation
President Marcos busses Vice President Sara Duterte as they attend the 45th Philippine National Police Academy commencement exercises for the Layag-Diwa Class of 2024 (lower photo) in Silang, Cavite yesterday. Inset shows cadet Ma. Camille Cabasis getting a hug from her father after receiving the Presidential Kampilan Award as class valedictorian.

MANILA, Philippines — Following First Lady Liza Marcos’ admission of a rift with Vice President Sara Duterte, President Marcos and Duterte bussed each other and shared the stage at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA)’s graduation rites in Silang, Cavite yesterday.

Marcos and Duterte were seen touching cheeks or doing “beso-beso” as he briefly held her arm when she and Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos welcomed him after the arrival honors. The officials then walked together to the stage.

The country’s two highest officials were seated beside each other and were seen chatting during the program.

Duterte also stood next to Marcos when they handed the diplomas to 223 graduating PNPA cadets.

The Vice President and concurrent education secretary introduced Marcos for his speech to the graduates. They left the venue separately without giving a media interview.

The graduation was held hours after the First Lady’s interview with Anthony Taberna was posted on YouTube.

During the interview, Liza said she was hurt when the Vice President was seen laughing at a recent prayer rally in Davao City, after her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, called her husband “bangag” or high on drugs.

“Imagine a former president calling (my husband) bangag…Why would you call (him) bangag? And then the camera panned on her (Sara), laughing. So of course, I saw it. I said, ‘wow man.’ I mean, for me, I was hurt because my husband will do everything to protect you,” Liza said.

At a forum in Manila on April 15, the President described his relations with the Dutertes as “complicated.”

He, however, maintained that his relationship with the Vice President has not changed. “The one, of course, I have the most contact with is Inday Sara and how we were with each other during the campaign, after the election, it hasn’t really changed,” he said, referring to the Vice President. “That’s what she always says.”

Marcos earlier defended Sara for not speaking out on the West Philippine Sea dispute with China, saying it is not her role as Vice President and education secretary.

Vice President Sara mum

The Vice President kept her silence amid the tirade of the First Lady, who candidly admitted in an interview that Duterte has lost favor with her.

Requests for a statement by reporters covering the Office of the Vice President remained unanswered by the OVP communication team since Thursday.

Duterte was also not posting any statement on her social media accounts regarding the acerbic remarks of the First Lady.

The Vice President used to post video statements on her Facebook account to address some pressing issues, but none was posted as of Friday.

In her interview with Taberna posted in full on YouTube on Thursday night, the First Lady admitted that she was hurt when the Vice President supposedly laughed as Marcos was accused of being stoned.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has denied that the President was on the PDEA list for cocaine use, as claimed by his predecessor.

Time 100 accolade

House leadership yesterday congratulated President Marcos for being named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2024, saying this is also in recognition of the entire country.

“President Marcos’ visionary leadership has brought about tangible improvements in various facets of our society. His strategic economic policies have steered our country towards stability and growth, even during global uncertainties,” said Speaker Martin Romualdez.

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