Two campaign meetings will be held in the Philippines on Sunday, one in favor of President Ferdinand Marcos and the other for his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte, against the backdrop of a deepening rift between these two powerful clans.
Since Mr. Marcos and his vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte, the daughter of the former head of state, came to power in mid-2022, the “unity” of this winning ticket has not broken down any further.
Relations between the two families have deteriorated, with each trying to consolidate support and secure key positions ahead of next year's midterm elections and the 2028 presidential election in which the young Duterte is expected to take part.
The latest dispute concerns Mr. Marcos, who supported a campaign to amend the 1987 constitution passed after the overthrow of his dictator, his father and namesake. The change aims to allow foreign investment, something Mr. Duterte and his daughter oppose.
Critics say the constitutional change could pave the way for another six-year term for the currently suspended Mr Marcos and make him a rival to Sara Duterte.
“Why give us headaches when we knew all along that it was about staying in power?” Duterte said in a recent interview.
According to the current president, policies in the constitution, including term limits, should be dealt with later.
On Sunday, he will launch his “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines) campaign in the capital Manila, which aims to “lead the nation toward change and development.”
Former President Duterte is expected to attend another rally in his southern archipelago stronghold of Davao organized by opponents of the constitutional change.
The left-wing Akbayan political party called the rallies a “dynastic war between the ruling elites.”
“It would be the most obvious way to make it clear that there is no longer any unity,” Jean Franco, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, told AFP.
The alliance between the two families began to unravel shortly after the 2022 election, when Mr. Marcos gave Ms. Duterte the troubled education ministry instead of the defense ministry she wanted.
Since then, relations between the two clans have continued to deteriorate.