By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of staff and spokesperson of presidential wannabe Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has dismissed the disqualification case against his boss as “mere propaganda” launched by what he labeled as “yellow wannabe political assassins.”
Lawyer Victor Rodriguez, in an interview with Teleradyo on Thursday, was reacting to the petition filed by civic groups, including victims of human rights abuses during the martial rule of Marcos Jr.’s father, asking the Commission on Elections to disqualify the Marcos scion from running for president in the May 2022 elections because he was criminally convicted in a tax case 26 years ago.
Rodriguez also thought that the Comelec was used as a “launchpad” for the supposed propaganda.
“It’s mere propaganda. Unfortunately, nagamit ang Comelec bilang launchpad ng propaganda nitong mga—I refer to them as yellow wannabe political assassins,” Rodriguez said.
(It’s mere propaganda. Unfortunately, Comelec was used as a launchpad for propaganda by who I refer to as yellow wannabe political assassins.)
“Nandyan na ‘yan, kaso yan. Sasagot kami kapag nakakuha na kami ng aming official copy and notice coming from the Comelec,” he added.
(But it’s already there and that’s still a case. We will respond once we get an official copy and notice coming from the Comelec.)
The petitioners, composed of political detainees, human rights, and medical organizations that fought the Marcos dictatorship, asserted that Marcos Jr. is not eligible to run for any public office since the Quezon City Regional Trial Court convicted him in 1995 for his failure to file income tax returns.
In defending Marcos Jr., his camp issued a press release, stating that “Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday said the disqualification case filed against presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. yesterday has no clear basis.”
Jimenez, however, has flagged this press release as “misleading” since at that time he made that remark, no complaint was filed yet against Marcos Jr.
Nonetheless, Rodriguez stood by their camp’s press release.
“’Yung statement po namin kahapon, I stand by it (We stand by our statement yesterday) and we have the actual tape video recording of what he said,” Rodriguez said.