MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – His voice reverberated around the room where the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was accepting certificates of candidacy (COC).
“Kayo hindi bobo (You are not stupid)!” controversial lawyer Larry Gadon shouted inside the COC filing room, as photographers clicked their shutters after an hour of waiting.
Unlike former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who waited 10 minutes to hand in his documents due to feng shui, Gadon delayed his COC filing and proceeded to a holding room for a different reason.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez confirmed that Gadon – whose tagline is “Hindi ako bobo (I am not stupid)!" – used the wrong COC form. (READ: New certificates of candidacy confuse 2019 bets)
This is the second time Gadon is running for senator. He sought the position in 2016 but lost.
But when asked why it took him a while to file his COC on Friday, Gadon stammered. He initially denied he filed the wrong COC form. He said he just lacked ID photos.
“Uh, meron lang, uh, uh, kinuhang picture, kinulang ng picture, ng photo,” Gadon told reporters. (I just got a photo, I lacked a photo.)
A reporter then asked Gadon, “Didn’t you have any problem with the form?”
He answered, “Ah, wala naman. Hindi naman nila tatanggapin 'pag mali 'yung form eh (Ah, nothing. They won’t accept the form if the form is defective)."
Pressed for answers
Another reporter followed up, “There were initial reports that you filled out the wrong form, the old one?”
“Uhm, wala naman,” he said. (Nothing like that.)
Pressed for a categorical answer, Gadon eventually said he presented a form that the Comelec rejected. “But it was not yet accomplished,” he claimed.
He later tried to clarify his claim about the lacking photos. He said that, in the 2016 elections, he also accomplished a COC but the Comelec only used one photo.
Because the Comelec supposedly needs more photos now, he said, “Eh pinakuha ko pa sa kotse. Eh 'yung kotse, paghatid sa akin, may pinuntahan pang iba.” (I had someone get it in my car. But the car, when it brought me here, already went somewhere else.)
The Comelec this year requires 5 ID photos from COC filers. In 2016, the Comelec also required 5.
Gadon comments on Muslims
When he filed his COC, Gadon also faced reporters about a number of issues.
One of these was his GMA News TV interview in 2016, where he said he will kill and burn the houses of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and slay even their children.
He clarified on Friday that he was “referring only to the terrorists.” He added that “in fact even the Muslim community has accepted this, and they even helped” in his campaign.
Gadon was later asked about his statement that he will not spare terrorist children in his fight against terrorists.
“Eh kasi ‘di ba nakikita mo naman ‘yung mga pictures ng mga terorista, even ‘yung mga bata ginagamit nila,” he said. (Because can’t you see the pictures of terrorists, they even use children.)
Asked to confirm that as a senator he wants terrorist Muslim children killed, he answered, “Yeah. I’m not referring to Muslims but any terrorist… Basta terorista (As long as they’re terrorists), they have to be exterminated.”
Gadon also said it is not an excuse that children have not reached the age of reason.
“Hindi katwiran yon. (That’s not an excuse.) So you mean to say you will allow these children to kill people, civilians and innocent people? Just because they are children, you will allow them to kill people, even those who are peace-loving citizens?” – Rappler.com