MANILA - Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday said Vice President Leni Robredo should tell her "allies" to withdraw the petition against him before the Commission of Elections if she's not behind it.
Robredo earlier said she was not behind moves to disqualify her 2016 and 2022 political rival, saying it “doesn’t make sense” that she would seek Marcos Jr.'s’ disqualification for next year's elections when she could have done so back in 2016, when she defeated him in the vice presidential race.
"Sabihin niya (Robredo) dun sa mga kasama niya na iurong nila kung 'yan ang kaniyang opinion," said Marcos Jr. during a press conference in Tacloban City, Leyte.
Last week, civic groups filed a petition at the Comelec to either cancel or deny Marcos' certificate of candidacy over his supposed "false material representation.”
His 1995 conviction for tax evasion should prevent him from running for president in Halalan 2022, even if the Court of Appeals in 1997 reduced the penalty to a mere fine, according to the petitioners.
The Marcos camp called the petition a "predictable nuisance petition" by personalities "with known ties to the Liberal Party." LP is Robredo's political affiliation.
"I consider it a nuisance complaint kasi 'yung kaso na 'yan ... sa aking palagay tapos na 'yung issue na 'yan. Pero siyempre ang kalaban gustong maglagay ng bagong issue," Marcos Jr. reiterated
in the press conference.
He claimed that the petition does not even look like a legal document. He admitted, however, that he's not a legal expert.
"Pero again hindi ako abogado so I cannot give an opinion. But 'yun nga ang reaction ko, it doesn't look like a legal document," Marcos Jr. said.
Meanwhile, he said rumored plans of running with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in 2022 will not materialize anytime soon.
"Palagay ko hindi na, dahil ako hindi na ako pwedeng umatras, hindi na ako pwedeng mag substitute. Siya naman wala talaga siyang balak na tumakbo bilang presidente. Mabuti na 'yun para yung magkaibigan ay hindi na mag kalaban-laban," he said.
Marcos Jr. earlier said he sought her father, President Duterte, as his running mate in the 2022 elections.
"Ang original na plano namin si Pangulong Duterte eh kaya wala akong vice presidential candidate dahil sa partido. Kaya lang ginulat naman kami ni Presidente dahil hindi siya nag file," he said in the briefing.
"Tingnan natin kung ano ang magiging advise ng ating nga kasamahan sa partido."
Marcos Jr. was the third presidential aspirant to sign up last month for the 2022 elections. His COC filing was met with protests by human rights groups, denouncing his alleged attempt to return his family to power.
The Marcos family has long sought to rebuild its image and has repeatedly denied allegations that it plundered state wealth while in power, estimated in 1987 at $10 billion.
— Report from Sharon Evite-Carangue and Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News
Bongbong Marcos, Leni Robredo, Comelec, 2022 elections, Halalan 2022, Sara Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte