Marcos: I was robbed of 3 years as VP; Robredo: I’m not the thief between us
MANILA, Philippines—The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos continued to assert he was cheated in the 2016 vice presidential race, saying Vice President Leni Robredo had already robbed three years of what could have been his six-year term.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. , talking to reporters after the Supreme Court approved the release of initial recount results in Marcos’ election protest against Robredo, said he was a victim of massive cheating.
Robredo won the vice presidential race by a margin of 280,000 votes over Marcos, whose family had gone into exile in Hawaii after his father’s regime was toppled by a popular revolt in 1986 fuelled in part by massive fraud in the 1985 snap elections called by the elder Marcos and which the late democracy icon Corazon Aquino won.
Marcos said by cheating him in the elections, “they robbed the proper Vice President, myself, of three years of service.”
Robredo countered by saying she was not the one suffering from a reputation of fraud.
“It’s funny that he is the one saying it,” the Vice President said at a press briefing in her office in Quezon City.
“Between the two of us, it’s not me who has the habit of robbing,” Robredo said.
The high court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), released copies of initial recount results in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental where the former senator claimed he was cheated. The recount was demanded by Marcos but the camp of Robredo had demanded the release of its results.
The Supreme Court also asked Robredo’s camp to submit an answer to Marcos’ bid to recount votes in yet another area, this time the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Taking a swipe at the Marcoses without naming any of them, Robredo said she became Vice President because of “hard work.” “I do not have fake diplomas,” she said, apparently referring to accusations that Sen. Imee Marcos falsely claimed to be a graduate of Harvard.
Marcos, Robredo said, “should not say those things because between the two of us, I know that I’m not the thief.”
Marcos expressed frustration at being made to wait for too long to take over as Vice President. “Of course, it’s frustrating but what are you going to do?” he said.
“You have to trust the wisdom of our justices. Also the case is complicated. It is the first time that any presidential protest has reached this stage,” Marcos said.
The SC en banc, according to Marcos, had rejected adopting a draft decision penned by Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, recommending a dismissal of Marcos’ election protest. “I am happy that the case continues,” said Marcos. “So the case lives and it continues,” he said.
“We will fight until all of the evidence we have are presented to the tribunal,” he added.
Marcos said if he had his way, his electoral case would be decided in just two days. “Every additional day is a little bit more frustrating but, again, we abide by the system,” Marcos said./TSB
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