A political adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte believes the testimonies of drug lords against Senator Leila de Lima can be used in his electoral protest against the incumbent senator.
Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Francis Tolentino said he has yet to accept President Duterte's endorsement about a potential senatorial bid in the 2019 polls since he has a pending electoral protest against De Lima.
One possible piece of evidence he said can be used in his poll protest is the testimony of several drug lords against De Lima. One convicted drug lord, Herbert Colanggo, earlier claimed he gave P3 million to De Lima, a charge which the senator has denied.
"I have other pieces of evidence na nagpapakita may kaunting mali dun like [De Lima's] statement of expenses. Dapat nakalagay yung donors niya. (The names of the donors should be there.) You've heard the testimonies of drug lords, na they donated to her. Why isnt it there?" he said.
He also claimed that former poll chief Andy Bautista could have shed light on the alleged cheating in the 2016 polls if he had not left the country.
"Kung natuloy yung impeachment trial,... baka nabuksan ito but unfortunately the former Comelec chairman absconded," he said.
Tolentino ran in the 2016 senatorial race but landed on the 13th spot behind 12th placer De Lima. He is urging the Senate Electoral Tribunal to nullify 1.3 million votes alleged to have padded de Lima’s lead over him.
Tolentino said he needs to consult his lawyers if he will run in the 2019 polls since he does not know if it will automatically make his electoral protest moot.
He added there is also a possibility that De Lima would resign so he could take her spot in the Senate. "Hindi natin masabi," he said.