Imee Marcos shuns 'anti-corruption' messaging by opponents

ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Governor and senatorial candidate Imee Marcos shunned the supposed "negative campaigning" by her opponents for the upcoming midterm elections in May.

In a press briefing, Marcos, together with Hugpong ng Pagbabago party chairperson Sara Duterte Carpio and reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar were asked if they feel alluded to by the Otso Diresto opposition slate's shade that their team has no records of corruption and amassing wealth from public funds.

The Hugpong ng Pagbabago Senate lineup was in Ilocos Norte, home province and stronghold of the Marcoses, to campaign on Monday, February 18.

Answering the question, Marcos said she will not engage with her opponents and will instead focus on the "needs of the nation."

"Panahon ng eleksyon ngayon, talagang bakbakan at talagang batikusan. Pero huwag na ho nating patulan ang lahat. Ang importante remain focused kung ano talaga ang kailangan ng bansa at kung anong support na mabibigay natin kay President Duterte," Marcos said.

(It's election time, so it's really a war, and politicians attack each other. But let's not mind them. What's important is we remain focused on what is really needed in our nation, and what support we can give to President Duterte.)

The Marcoses are accused of amassing billions of pesos during the rule of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Imelda was recently convicted by the Sandiganbayan of 7 counts of graft.

Carpio also shrugged off the issue, saying it's not her kind of politics to engage in a word war with opponents.

"It's not my kind of politics na atakihin 'yung kalaban. Ang sinasabi ko lagi doon sa mga candidates, mag-focus tayo to present kung ano 'yung track record, 'yung individual track record at trabaho na track record at i-present kung ano 'yung gagawin nila for the next 3 years," Carpio said.

(It's not my kind of politics to attack rivals. I told our candidates to focus on presenting their individual and work track records, and present their platforms for the next 3 years.)

Villar, meanwhile, said it's a family policy not to engage in "political propaganda" against their opponents.

Among those endorsed by Hugpong are senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada, both of whom are accused in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

Both Revilla and Estrada were present during Monday's rally, and they insisted on their "innocence" during their talks onstage. –