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Manila Standard : ‘Just a nuisance,’ Marcos camp says of petition to cancel COC

News & Interviews
7 November 2021

By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard

Partido Federal ng Pilipinas on Saturday described as “just a nuisance” the petition seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy of its standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. PFP general counsel George Briones lamented that the petition was a desperate move by some groups trying to derail Marcos’s candidacy for president in next year’s elections.

Briones referred to the petition as a mere “scrap of paper” since the petitioners failed to attach a certified true copy of a final judgment showing Marcos was guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude.

“Clearly, this petition is just a nuisance,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Enrile family has made official their endorsement of PFP presidential aspirant Marcos Jr. after a meeting in Makati City, where they discussed plans for the 2022 elections.

Marcos Jr. will support Katrina Ponce Enrile, who is running for a congressional seat in Cagayan. Katrina is also the Cagayan provincial chair of the PFP.

Juan Ponce Enrile, 97, was the defense minister during the term of Marcos Jr.’s father, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

According to political analysts, Cagayan is part of the Marcoses’ so-called Solid North, where the family has traditionally received strong electoral support.

Also, following the destruction of more than P300 million worth of vegetables and other agricultural products in Pampanga, Marcos Jr. asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to look into donating the seized fruits and vegetables to communities in need once they are deemed safe to eat.

According to Briones, before the Comelec allows the petition to proceed and ask the respondent Marcos to comment, the poll body should at least order the petitioners to provide what he “actionable document.”

“Before the Comelec gives due course to the petition and requires the respondent to answer or comment to the petition, they must at the very least order the petitioners to attach a certified true copy of this final judgment to their petition. For how can the respondent intelligently answer the petition, if the judgment upon which his alleged ineligibility is based is not even attached to it?” Briones asked.

“Since the penalty or penalties you are looking for in the Decision of the Court of Appeals are not there, then Marcos, Jr. is eligible to be a candidate for President and did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude. That CA decision has long been final. It is now immutable and cannot be changed to favor this nuisance suit,” Briones said.

Meanwhile, Marcos’s chief of staff, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said the petition filed against BBM is just part of the dirty tactics being used by his opponents.

“The Filipino people can clearly see that presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos continues to be oppressed and subject of political attacks by various yellow groups,” Rodriguez said.

“Let’s not play along the propaganda line of the yellow-wannabe political assassins,” he added.

Marcos Jr. said food security is among the top concerns during this time of crisis. Due to the implementation of lockdowns last year, millions of Filipinos lost their jobs and despite lowering the alert levels, many still experience hunger.

“Kung idadaan sa tamang inspeksiyon at pasado ang kalidad ng mga nasabat na gulay at prutas, pag-aralan sana natin ang posibilidad an maibigay ito sa mga nangangailangang komunidad sa halip na itapon upang mapakinabangan naman ngayong pandemya,” Marcos said.

Data from Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that for the second quarter of 2021, an estimated 3.4 million Filipino families have experienced hunger. Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology- Food and Nutrition Research Institute said a total of 1.7 metric tons of food are being wasted every day.

Marcos also encouraged the two agencies to intensify their fight against the illegal smuggling of fruits and vegetables in the country to protect the welfare of Filipino farmers.