MANILA - Reelectionist Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian will not participate in a possible Senate investigation regarding the government’s uncollected P203 billion estate tax from the Marcoses.
Gatchalian is one of the senatorial candidates in the May elections running under the tandem of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“Honestly, my focus now is to campaign eh," the reelectionist said. "Maigsi lang ang oras na ibinigay sa amin, only 90 days.”
Gatchalian said he needs to make the most of the time he has to reach out to voters in various parts of the country.
The lawmaker is in the Top 14 in the March senatorial preference survey of Pulse Asia.
Gatchalian said he also sees the possible probe as more of a “political move” than something related to legislation.
“Yung timing is also an issue. Malapit na yung elections eh. May 9 na eh. Definitely, etong gagawin, magkakaroon ng kulay 'yan because malapit na yung eleksyon. And frontrunner 'yan because si BBM. So, magkakaroon ng kulay-pulitika yan,” Gatchalian said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News.
“What is obvious is magkakaroon ng political color because malapit na yung eleksyon. Definitely, magkakakulay,” he added.
The senator downplayed allegations that the camps of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio have been paying people to attend their campaign rallies.
“Yung bigayan ng pera, never namang na-prove eh. It’s only in social media, in ganito. Wala naman na-prove o walang kaso eh… Sad to say, it’s part of our election process na magkaroon ng intriga,” he said.
Those who have been accusing the Marcos-Duterte-Carpio tandem of vote-buying should also just file complaints at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said Gatchalian.
“I go to almost to 90 percent of the UniTeam rally. And nakita ko yung dami ng tao eh. And Nakita ko yung motorcade 'pag lumalabas, talagang by the hundreds of thousands," he said.
"Imposible naman na babayaran lahat ng tao para lumabas sa motorcade. For me, parang it’s impossible to pay all those people."
Gatchalian also said he has asked presidential aspirant and fellow Senator Manny Pacquiao to remove him from the latter's Senate lineup.
Pacquiao is running with former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza.
“I signified my intention to withdraw from Pacquiao lineup out of delicadeza and friendship with Manny. Kasi I don’t want to have any misunderstanding with him dahil kaibigan natin sya,” Gatchalian said.