President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said he was planning to visit Abra, the epicenter of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, on Thursday.

In a press conference, Marcos Jr. said he had to wait until tomorrow as he did not want to interrupt the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of local government units.

“I am staying away from going to the affected areas for a very simple reason: It has been my experience as governor, it has been my experience in Yolanda that when the national officers come to the affected areas immediately, ginugulo lang namin ‘yung trabaho ng mga local,” the president said.

“So I said, let them do their work. Let us wait for them to tell us what is going to be — what the true situation is. And maybe I can schedule a trip perhaps tomorrow as soon as possible,” he added.

Marcos Jr. said he was inside the Malacañan Palace when the earthquake occurred.

“I was in my office. Naririnig ko ‘yung nag — may chandelier na… ‘Yun ang guide namin dito sa Palasyo. ‘Pag narinig mo ‘yung chandelier na kumakalansing, then ibig sabihin may lindol. But it was very strong. It’s stronger than the usual,” he said.

The earthquake left at least four people dead. John Ezekiel J. Hirro