Marcos camp ‘respects’ process, but preparing for next move
The camp of losing vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday said they respected the electoral process and the will of the Filipino people, following the win of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo in the Congress’ official tallying of votes.
But George Garcia, a counsel for Marcos in the canvassing, said their camp was already in an “advanced” stage in preparing for their next moves, one of which could be an electoral protest.
“Ang sinasabi ko lang po, maaari ngang may hinahanda kami. What if naghahanda kami for an election protest, what if we are trying to lay down the proper road for the filing of an election protest,” Garcia told reporters in an ambush interview after the canvassing at the House of Representatives.
“To respect the proceedings of the board, may mga nakikita man kaming mali, may iba kaming ebidensya pero hindi na lang po namin pinoint out ‘yun sapagkat pinaghahandaaan na lamang namin ‘yung mga susunod naming aksyon,” he said.
Robredo led Marcos by 263,473 votes in the official count, after Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers finished tabulating all 166 certificates of canvass on Friday evening.
Highlighting that there were 3.9 million undervotes for vice president, Garcia said they were in the process of “collecting evidence and affidavits.”
“Bibilangin namin ‘yung mga balota kung saka-sakali para malaman natin ano ba talaga ang nangyari sa mga botong ‘yan. Talaga bang marami siyang (Marcos) zero at dapat bang makakuha siya ng zero sa mga lugar kung saan zero ang nakuha niyang boto,” he said. “Definitely, kung saka-sakaling magpa-file kami ng protesta, definitely number one ang ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) provinces.”
Garcia, however, said their preparations were still “preliminary” as they were considering other factors like the monetary cost of filing an electoral protest.
“At this point everything is still preliminary. Kung mag-file kami ng protesta, ipapaalam po namin sa publiko because they really deserve to know,” Garcia said.
“Madami kasing kino-consider pa katulad ng gastos. Alam naman po natin ‘yung protesta medyo magastos ‘yan, katatapos lamang po ng eleksyon at medyo malakihan ‘yung gastos pero sympre kino-consider ni Senator Marcos ‘yung kanyang options, at isa sa mga kino-consider niya ay ‘yung pagfile ng protest,” he added.
Garcia also served as lawyer for Senator-elect Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri in a counter-protest against Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, which they eventually withdrew.
‘Search for truth’
Garcia congratulated Robredo for her victory, but added that their search for truth did not end in the canvassing.
“‘Yung paghahanap namin ng katotohan ay hindi natatapos sa canvassing na ito. Patuloy po naming gagawin ‘yan hindi lamang dahil sa paghahanap sa posisyon, kung hindi dahil upang ma-i-defend namin ‘yung boto ng aming mga supporters, at napakaimportante, for future reference,” he said.
Marcos’ lawyer added that they would not block Robredo’s proclamation, noting that they never intended to delay the process.
“Kasi ang sabi ko sa inyo, kung gusto lang naming i-delay nangyaring proseso, napakadali naman po eh. I’ll just stand up there at mag-raise ako ng kung anu-anong objection pero hindi po namin ginawa. We respected the process, we respected the members of the board, and we respected the will of the Filipino people na magkaroon na agad tayo ng president and bise president na maipoproklama,” Garcia said.
“At this point it is very important that we are able to proclaim immediately our duly elected president and vice president regardless of our belief, as a nation, we have to unite whoever is proclaimed as president,” he added.
Garcia also extended gratitude to supporters of the late dictator’s son and namesake.
“Sabi naman niya pakisabi din sa kanila na hindi ito natatapos dito lamang pero sobra siyang nagpapasalamat. Ang importante po lumaban siya at patuloy kaming lumalaban,” he said.
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