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Manila Standard : Bongbong: Evidence show disqualification case ‘trash’

News & Interviews
16 November 2021

By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard

Presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday debunked insinuations of his possible disqualification from the presidential race in 2022 elections, saying “all pieces of evidence and legal arguments in our hands clearly show that the petition against my candidacy is nothing but trash.”

Marcos, standard-bearer of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, made the statement to assure his millions of supporters that his fight to serve the Filipino people under a unifying leadership is impeccable and will get through misleading propaganda.

“Even though I know that the petition of those who do not want the country to move forward is completely meaningless, our lawyers are still preparing it,” said Marcos, who has been leading in all surveys.

“I’ve personally seen the documents for our defense and I’ve personally discussed them with our legal team who, along with some reputable and respectable legal experts, concluded without doubt that the petition to delist my name from the roster of applicants for the presidency is without merit and has no legal basis,” he added.

Marcos was referring to an earlier legal opinion expressed by former Justice secretary and Ateneo law expert Alberto Agra and UST faculty of law dean Nilo Divina who have both opined that the petition has no basis in fact and in law.

“The attempt to stop Marcos, Jr. from joining the 2022 presidential race is likely to fail,” said Divina, who stressed that “the petition is bound to collapse once evaluated by the Comelec because it appears to be defective in form and offers an insufficient legal basis to obtain its desired judgment.”

For his part, ex-DOJ chief Agra said in a radio interview that “there is no legal ground to cancel the CoC of Marcos, Jr.” The Ateneo law professor argued that the “petition has no legal basis and is unlikely to move forward.”

The Ateneo law professor explained that “it was clearly stated in the Omnibus Election Code that Marcos, Jr. is qualified to run for president because he had no shortcomings in his CoC submission as alleged by the petitioners.”

Marcos meanwhile urged the national government to prioritize using locally-made syringes to address the supply shortage that threatens to impede the country’s vaccination program.

Marcos said the problem should be addressed as the government is now getting closer to its goal of inoculating 50 percent Filipinos by the end of the year.

“The development of our vaccination is good but if it is stopped for a while or slowed down due to lack of syringe supply. It should be done immediately because the life and safety of our countrymen is at stake,” Marcos said.

The Department of Health said there is already a global shortfall in syringe supply, which prompted them to use an alternative needle. That syringe was initially intended to test patients for tuberculosis but is now being used for the mRNA vaccines, specifically Pfizer and Moderna.

According to Marcos, supporting local manufacturers of medical supplies would create more jobs and help stimulate economic recovery.

Marcos also said sourcing the syringes locally will ensure consistent supply and replenishment since the country will not rely on outside sources that may be affected by global supply chain issues.

As of now, there are only three local manufacturers of syringes in the country, which is why Marcos said there is also a need to establish start-up companies that will help develop local production.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 said the country has already received a total of 123,258,340 COVID-19 vaccine doses since February. Of this number, 69,713, 994 were already administered to Filipinos.