Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 3) — The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday that the appeal to cancel his candidacy is nothing but a "predictable nuisance petition."
Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson, said they will respond once they receive the official copy of the complaint.
"We shall address this predictable nuisance petition at the proper time and forum. Until then, we will refrain from commenting on their propaganda. Our camp does NOT engage in gutter politics," he said.
Nevertheless, a statement from his camp quoted Marcos as saying that the petition was lodged out of fear of how well he is performing even before the campaign period.
"Siguro kasama na rin 'yan sa pulitika. Lalo na 'yung aming mga kalaban ay imbes na humarap sa eleksyon… kasi siguro natatakot sila sa numero, idi-disqualify na lang ako. Pero hindi ako natatakot, hindi ako aatras," Marcos said.
[Translation: I guess that's part of politics. Instead of facing me in the elections, my opponents, because they’re afraid of the numbers, would rather have me disqualified. But I'm not afraid, I will not withdraw.]
Heads of human rights groups filed the petition on Tuesday before the Commission on Elections. According to the petitioners, the son and namesake of the late dictator is not qualified to run for public office as he is a convicted criminal.
The Quezon City court convicted Marcos in July 1995 for multiple failures to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985. In its ruling, the court sentenced the former senator to at least nine years in jail and ordered him to pay the fine, but the Court of Appeals modified the decision and "improperly" deleted the penalty of imprisonment, the petitioners noted.
Civic leaders said Marcos' crime "involves moral turpitude, thereby disqualifying him under the Omnibus Election Code to be a candidate and to hold any public office."