MANILA - Former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino said Wednesday he will let the people decide in his poll protest against Senator Leila de Lima, as he guns for the Senate anew.
Tolentino, who ended up number 13 in the 2016 senatorial election, said he has filed a motion to suspend his poll protest against the detained senator.
"Nag-file muna ako ng motion to suspend the hearings sa electoral protest ko kay De Lima... Kahit nag-file ako ng motion, hindi pa rin natin tinatanggap ang panalo ni De Lima," he said before filing his COC.
(I filed a motion to suspend the hearings on my electoral protest against De Lima. But even so, I am still rejecting De Lima's supposed victory.)
"Itong ginagawa kong pagfa-file ng COC ngayon ay para taumbayan na ang magdesisyon ng election protest ko," he added.
(I filed my COC so that the people can be the ones to decide on my election protest.)
Tolentino said the poll protest has dragged on for too long at the Senate electoral tribunal. He said while they have evidence to back his protest, there won't be enough time to resolve the issue.
DE LIMA FIRES BACK
De Lima, for her part, said there is no such thing as suspension or archiving of a poll protest.
Tolentino, she said, should abandon his "baseless and frivolous" protest because it is dismissible on the ground of abandonment.
She also told the senatorial aspirant to "be man enough to admit that nobody cheated you."
"You simply lost, Mr. Tolentino. Kaya please lang, kung nagpapapansin ka, not at my expense please," she said in a statement.
(So please, if you are seeking attention, don't do it at my expense.)
Tolentino said he will be running for senator under the ruling PDP-Laban party to continue what he has been fighting for since he ran in 2010.
"Kailanga natin ng quick rehabilitation. Kung may malalaking trahedya at may involved na tao, kailangan may managot," he said.
(We need quick rehabilitation. If there is a tragedy involving the citizens, we need accountability.)
In the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey, Tolentino ranked low at 24-30.