MANILA - His presidential bid this year has nothing to do with the 2016 contest for the country's second highest post where he lost to Vice President Leni Robredo, who is also one of his rivals in the May elections, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. said Wednesday.
Responding to a question at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum whether he considers the upcoming elections as a referendum to his vice presidential face-off with Robredo six years ago, Marcos said, "One thing has nothing to do with the other."
According to him, "This election is going to decide the future of our country, not some political issue."
Robredo defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice presidential elections, which he protested, claiming fraud.
The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, affirmed Robredo's victory last year as it junked Marcos' electoral protest for failing to specify and prove his allegations. The Marcos camp filed a motion for reconsideration.
The former senator said at Wednesday's forum that his protest did not end even though he filed his candidacy for president in this year's elections.
"Whatever happens, if you take office - the Defensor Doctrine I think it's become to be called, - then all these protests will become moot," Marcos said. "As far as I know, that's the legal situation."
In the meantime, he said "it's time to get to work" and "enough with the political (issues)."
"This election might be the most important election in our lifetimes, all of us," said Marcos, noting it would decide how the Philippines will deal with what he called a "tectonic shift" in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Too much politics, enough na (already)... We'll do the political until May 9, then finish na (that's it)," the 64-year-old aspirant said.
"Gawin na natin yung trabaho natin. Ang daming naghihirap. Ang daming nangangailangan. Bakit pinag-uusapan pa natin yung mga ganyan?" he added, emphasizing his campaign's message of unity.
(Let's do our job. Many people are suffering. Many are in need. Why are we talking about political issues?)
Marcos is the frontrunner in the latest pre-election surveys of pollsters Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations, while Robredo trails at second place.
His critics continue to bring up the atrocities and corruption during his father's administration, particularly during the imposition of Martial Law from 1972.
RELATED VIDEO FROM THE ARCHIVES