'Why run for senator when I already won as VP?' – Bongbong Marcos
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr said on Wednesday, January 10, that he is not running for senator in 2019, confident that he would win his electoral protest against Vice President 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 said in response to questions at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum on Wednesday.
"I am not running for senator in 2019," he stressed.
Marcos said he is focused on his case against Robredo. The Vice President won over her closest rival by just 263,473 votes in the 2016 race, prompting Marcos to file an electoral protest.
"Hindi ko titigilan itong protestang ito dahil tapat ang aking paniniwala na dinaya ako noong nakaraang halalan. 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," Marcos added.
(I will not give up on this protest because I believe that I was cheated during the last elections. 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.)
Marcos, who served in the Senate from 2010 to 2016, said he is determined to finish the electoral protest he filed against Robredo. (READ: TIMELINE: Marcos-Robredo election case)
He made it to the Magic 12 in the December 2017 senatorial survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), ranking 7-8.
Marcos, however, did not appear as among the top senatorial contenders in the November Laylo survey. His sister, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, ranked 22-23.
In his electoral protest against Robredo, the ballot recount for Marcos' 3 pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental is set to begin in February.
Marcos had picked these 3 pilot provinces where initial recounting of votes will be held so the Supreme Court (SC), acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), can determine if the rest of his electoral protest has merit.
Robredo's lawyer Romulo Malacintal said it was "too presumptuous" of Marcos to say he already won the vice presidency.
"It was too presumptuous for Mr Ferdinand Marcos to claim that he already 'won the vice presidency' or he is just dreaming. If he won as vice president, why is it that it was Robredo who was proclaimed by Congress as winner?" said Macalintal in a statement.
The lawyer said Marcos is trying to preempt the results of the ballot recount in his 3 pilot provinces. He said the Robredo camp strong believes that based on past ballot recounts, "no one has ever won in a recount of automated ballots."
"We hope that Mr Marcos is not using this protest for political media mileage," said Macalintal. – Rappler.com