Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, January 10 ruled out the possibility of running for a Senate seat in the 2019 midterm elections, saying he already “won” the 2016 vice presidential race.
Speaking at the “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” media forum, the former senator expressed confidence that he would win his electoral protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
“Bakit ako tatakbo ng senador eh nanalo na ‘ko ng bise presidente (Why will I run for senator when I already won as vice president?)” Marcos told reporters.
In a recently released survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) from December 8 to 11 last year, Marcos ranked 7-8th in the Senate’s so-called “Magic 12” or list probable senatorial race winners.
While appreciating the public’s “continued support,” Marcos maintained that he is focused on his case against Robredo, as he pointed to the importance of knowing the “real” result of the 2016 vice presidential election.
“Hindi ko titigilan itong protestang ito dahil tapat ang aking paniniwala na dinaya ako noong nakaraang halalan (I will not give up on this protest because I believe that I was cheated during the last elections),” Marcos stressed.
He continued, “At ipapalabas ko ang tunay na bilang ng boto nang malaman ng tao kung sino ba talaga ang pinili ng taong bayan bilang bise presidente (And I will strive to show the real count of the votes so the people will know who the nation really chose as vice president).”
During the same forum, Marcos accused the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) of being “unfair and unjust,” citing in particular the supposed “disturbing series of decisions” made by Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa.
Robredo won the vice presidential race with just 263,473 more votes than Marcos. The latter accused her of benefiting from “massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities” during the vice presidential election in 2016.
Marcos’ electoral protest was raffled off to Caguioa, who is just one of the members of the SC, sitting as the electoral tribunal.
“It’s become very obvious that the strategy has been to delay, delay, and delay. Mukhang hindi na fair ang treatment sakin sa PET (Looks like PET is no longer treating me fairly),” Marcos said.
“There has been a disturbing series of decisions made by Justice (Benjamin) Caguioa that were clearly unfair and unjust,” he added.
Among several PET rulings — which the former senator claimed were unfair include the tribunal’s order asking him P36 million out of his P66.2 million protest fee on April 14, 2017 — fell on Good Friday when most banks were closed for the Holy Week.
It can be recalled, however, that PET immediately moved first installment deadline on the next working day, which is on April 17, 2017.
Marcos also criticized PET for delaying the deadline of Robredo’s P8 million initial counterprotest fee from the original April 17, 2017 to May 2 of the same year because she “couldn’t pay on time.”
In a statement, Robredo’s camp chided Marcos for being “too presumptuous” in claiming that he already won the vice presidency.
“It was too presumptuous for Mr. Ferdinand Marcos (Jr.) to claim that he already ‘won the vice presidency’ or he is just dreaming,” said lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s lead counsel.
“Mr. Marcos is merely trying to preempt the coming results of the recount of ballots where his ridiculous and frivolous claim of massive election cheating will be proven false and a mere imagined victory, which is the usual reaction of an election loser who cannot accept defeat in good grace,” Macalintal added.
Robredo’s camp also stressed that she was already proclaimed winner by Congress, further nothing that “no one has ever won in a recount of automated ballots” based on past recount of ballots.
“For the results of the recount will just tally with the results generated by the vote counting machines from the automated election system, which Marcos himself admitted to be credible and for which his first cause of action questioning the system was dismissed by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET),” Macalintal said.