Marcos gives first presser as presumptive president–and it was a surprise

Published May 23, 2022, 4:39 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Bongbong Marcos gave on Monday afternoon, May 23 his first, true-blue press conference to Manila-based reporters since becoming presumptive president following the recent national elections.

Presumptive president Bongbong Marcos (Ellson A. Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Marcos, sporting a full suit, somewhat surprised the reporters holed up at the BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong City when he suddenly emerged and made himself comfortable at the press conference table.

The incoming leader then proceeded to “report” to media what he had discussed with the four diplomats that he met with earlier in the day, during successive courtesy calls at the headquarters.

These diplomats were, in order of the meetings, the following: Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran, and United States (US) Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava.

Marcos joked that the reason why he was wearing something else other than his usual threads were due to the presence of the envoys.

“Nag-iba ang look namin dito sa headquarters. Hindi na kami nangampanya (We changed our usual look here in the headquarters. We’re no longer campaigning) and were are back working in the office,” the former senator said.

Before Marcos’s appearance, the reporters present only gained a few minutes of media availability from Ambassador Kumaran of India.

Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko pays a courtesy call to Marcos on May 23, 2022 (BBM Media)

Marcos was particularly excited to share what he discussed with the American official, Variava.

“As you can imagine, pagka-kausap natin Amerikano, eh marami talaga kaming pqg-uusapan (if it’s the Americans that we’re speaking to, then we’ll really have a lot to talk about),” hen said.

He said the US is offering assistance to mitigate the effects of climate change in different countries. The Philippines is reportedly a highly vulnerable nation when it comes to the adverse effects of climate change.

“Of course we will welcome any assistance for the economy that we can get from the [US] but I said I think that not only a dependence on aid from the [US] but also in trade. Trade, not aid,” Marcos said.

Another pleasant surprise that Marcos did was him agreeing to answer questions from the reporters present.

“Well, I’ll take a few [questions],” he gamely said.

It was during the short question and answer portion that the presumptive president said that Quirino grandstand in Manila may not work as the site for his inauguration on June 30, 2022.

“Hindi kaya because nga may [Covid-19] ospital eh. Eh ginagamit pa eh, hindi naman natin pwede ilipat yan (That won’t work because there’s a Covid-19 hospital there. It’s still being used, we cannot transfer it),” Marcos said.

“Now we’re looking for an alternative,” he said of his inauguration site.

The impromptu presser lasted for 25 minutes.