MANILA – Defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on Friday revealed his plans to run for a national post in 2022, even as he insisted on pursuing his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
“My plan is I will be a candidate in the next election. For what, I will still have to decide,” Marcos, a former senator, told reporters during a forum organized by the National Press Club in Manila.
He did not say who his running mate will be in case he runs for president, saying he could even seek a Senate comeback.
“I can be a congressman, I can be a senator. 'Pag nag-retire ako (If I retire), I can be governor sa (in) Ilocos Norte,” he said.
Marcos served as senator from June 2010 to June 2016 before running for vice president, where he lost to Robredo by a slim margin.
He shared that he has gone around the country in the last 3 years, visiting each province at least thrice.
“Ang tingin sa akin ng mga tao nasa posisyon pa ako. May mga sulat nagpapatulong, nagkukumbida,” he explained.
(Some people still see me as someone in position. They write letters asking for help, inviting me over to events.)
But he said former senator and presidential candidate Manny Villar advised him not to disclose his plans for a specific position early, as it might affect his chances of winning.
Villar was an early frontrunner in the 2010 presidential polls but lost to former President Benigno Aquino III.
MARCOS ON HIS ELECTION PROTEST
Asked about the status of his election protest against Robredo, Marcos said he has just submitted his memorandum to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal asking that it proceed to resolve his third cause of action nullifying election results in 3 Maguindanao provinces.
“Ang aming ipinipilit ay unahin itong pagprisenta ng ebidensya sa third cause of action. Sa aming palagay, nasa amin ang ebidensya na sa maraming lugar, di nagkaroon ng maayos na eleksyon,” he said.
(We’re insisting that the PET first hear evidence on our third cause of action. We think we have the evidence that in many places, there were no proper elections.)
“Itong third cause of action, basta nasimulan na natin, sandali na lang ‘to,” he claimed.
(This third cause of action, once started, will be very quick.)
Marcos wants to nullify close to 500,000 votes in favor of Robredo in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao claiming widespread terrorism, harassment and intimidation of voters and pre-shading of ballots.
Robredo has refuted his claims citing the lack of immediate reports in these areas about supposed terrorism and ballot substitution.
Marcos also blamed Supreme Court Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the former justice in charge of the election protest, for the supposed “delay” in deciding his third cause of action and for prioritizing his second cause of action seeking a manual recount of ballots is close to 30 provinces.
SC magistrates sit as members of the PET in deciding presidential and vice presidential election protests.
Caguioa did reject Marcos’ move to proceed to his third cause of action but he based this on Rule 65 of the 2000 PET Rules which require an initial determination of the grounds of an election protest.
Under Rule 65, the protest may be dismissed “without further consideration of the other provinces” if the protestant will most probably fail to make out his case after the initial recount involving 3 provinces.
The PET’s initial recount showed Robredo’s lead over Marcos even grew by 15,000 votes.
He asked the tribunal to review the results.
MARCOS ON ROBREDO’S DRUG WAR REPORT
In the same forum, Marcos chided Robredo over the release of her report in her short stint as co-chair of the Inter-agency Coalition Against Drugs (ICAD).
He said he would have to agree with President Rodrigo Duterte calling Robredo a “colossal blunder,” saying Robredo should have conducted briefings and gone to the provinces to check what really happened.
“Walang bago,” he said of Robredo’s report. “Mga ginamit niya, figures na matagal na nilang binabato kay Presidente.”
(There was nothing new. The figures she used are figures that had been long thrown against the President.)
“'Yung report hindi report. It is a criticism. Hindi sinulat para makatulong. Sinulat lang para magbatikos kay President Duterte,” he added.
(The report was not a report. It is a criticism. It wasn’t written to help but to criticize President Duterte.)
Robredo had insisted she used data from various government agencies to conclude that President Duterte’s drug war has failed with only less than 1 percent of illegal drugs in the country seized.