MANILA - Allies of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday reacted to rumors that her defeated election rival, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., will soon become secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said Marcos may face opposition at the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA), which is responsible for confirming the appointments of the president.
"With many issues raised against the Marcoses, especially by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, baka hindi siya pumasa sa CA," Villarin said.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, for his part, warned Marcos he may be foregoing his electoral protest against Robredo if he accepts the job. Under the Constitution, losing candidates cannot be given appointive positions within one year after the election.
"Once the protestant accepts a government position, he automatically withdraws his case… He can accept but if he accepts, he is constrained to forego his petition. The court has made several rulings on that,” Lagman said.
But former election commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal does not agree with Lagman. He said, in the case of the late Miriam Santiago, her 1992 electoral protest against then-President Fidel Ramos was junked because she ran for senator, an elective post, three years later.
"If Marcos accepts [the] DILG [post], it doesn't mean the protest case is abandoned. The Miriam Santiago example was abandonment because she ran for another elective position. Appointive is different," Larrazabal said in a statement.
Lagman, meanwhile, recognizes that leading the DILG is a stepping stone for the presidency.
“Well, the DILG is a very important stepping stone to Malacañang. Ang ano diyan ang spread of influence. You have supervision over the LGUs (local government units). You have supervision over the police. That’s the possible objective,” he said.
In the Aquino administration, Mar Roxas led the post prior to his failed bid for the presidency last year. Roxas lost the vice-presidency in 2010 and also filed an electoral protest again then Vice President Jejomar Binay.