Though absent at VP debates, Bongbong still draws fire from rivals
BRUISED by the battering he took during their first face-off, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was absent at the vice presidential debate organized by ABS-CBN on Sunday, but he might as well have been there as he still drew the most fire from his opponents.
A scornful Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano ratcheted up his attacks against the son of the late Ferdinand Marcos, ridiculing the latter for “running away from the debate like the way his family ran away with the people’s money.”
“Marcos will not attend ABS-CBN debate, will instead have dinner with his wife, Louise for their 23rd anniversary,” the network said on Twitter. Sen. Gregorio Honasan was also absent, citing a scheduling conflict as the reason for his absence.
But it was Marcos who emerged as the talking piece for the candidates who were careful to project civility with each other, as they strove to pull ahead of the pack with a month to go before the May 9 elections.
It was actually Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo who gave Cayetano the opportunity to put Marcos back in the conversation, during the second round of the debate when the candidates were allowed to throw questions at each other.
The Liberal Party candidate asked Cayetano why he could attack Marcos so hard during the previous debate when they belonged to the same party.
“It’s too bad he’s not here. They ran away with the people’s money, now they’re running away again,” Cayetano said, citing the Marcos’ stash of $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth and his alleged links to pork barrel mastermind and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
“In his SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, he put P500 million but he did not work a single day in his life,” he said.
Chiming in, Trillanes said: “Sen. Bongbong… needs to show where he is coming from.”
“Let’s remove his being a son of a dictator,” he said. “Let’s look at his record as a senator. What has he done in the past six years?”
“Even if we just judged him on his character. On his academic preparation, why did he waste the opportunity to finish his degree?” Trillanes said, alluding to a controversy over Marcos’ academic credentials at Oxford and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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