DESPITE being the subject of a massive smear campaign in the runup to the elections, the camp of Presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said it would condone the fact-twisting and arrogance shown by ABS-CBN’s news channel ANC.
Marcos’ chief of staff Atty. Vic Rodriguez scored ANC’s recent interview of one of the petitioners of the disqualification case against Marcos.
Throughout the said interview, the gist displayed in the lower thirds of the newscast implied that the topic was about a tax evasion case. However, the discussion was supposed to be on the issue of Marcos’ “failure to file a return” and not a tax evasion case which was altogether different.
Atty. Mike Navallo, the program’s host, even narrated a ‘timeline’ of the case with the resource person who seemed to nonchalantly dismiss it and proceeded to rant about alleged non-payment of estate taxes which was totally outside the scope of the petition.
Also, Atty. Rodriguez on the very same day experienced being ‘bullied’ by a segment producer from the media network [according to her Linkedin profile] who contacted him via text message to request an interview.
The staffer, who introduced herself as Cynthia Honorio from ABS-CBN’s news channel ANC, asked Rodriguez for a Zoom interview on ANC’s Rundown program hosted by Atty. Navallo.
The topic for the supposed interview was the petition filed with the Comelec seeking to cancel or deny Marcos’ Certificate of Candidacy (COC) in next year’s polls.
“I must admit, I was taken aback when I read the text message from the ANC staff. It’s not every day that you receive an interview request wrapped in a dictatorial tone,” Atty. Rodriguez said.
According to Atty. Rodriguez, the initial part of the text message contained standard information regarding the program and other details. However, the middle portion included a sentence that read, “Your camp can not just ignore or dismiss this petition.”
“In my years of working as a spokesperson to former senator Bongbong Marcos, this is the first time someone imposed on us to comment. But I choose to forgive because after all, we follow a unifying leader,” Atty. Rodriguez added.
During his press briefing on Wednesday, Atty. Rodriguez said, “Our initial reaction is that the whole thing is outrageous. Because there is really no case against our presidential aspirant…if that is not gutter politics, hindi ko na alam kung ano pa itatawag natin diyan. Hindi natin lubos na maunawaan bakit ang mga taong ito ay ayaw na ayaw lumaban sa isang patas na arena. Bakit kinakailangan ninyong gulangan, bakit kailangan ninyong dayain ang sambayanang Pilipino sa pagsasampa ng mga kasong walang kakwenta-kwenta.”
Meanwhile, an election law professor from The Ateneo de Manila University expressed doubt that the case would push through since it lacked a crucial component.
“Isang basehan para hindi ka puwedeng manungkulan ay kung ikaw ay sentensiyado sa isang krimen na more than eighteen months or crime involving moral turpitude. Hindi siya sentence to imprisonment. Ang nangyari siya ay nahatulan pero ang kanyang parusa ay walang imprisonment. Ang parusa niya ay fine lamang. Pag hindi ka lang nag-file or peke ang iyong finile, hindi yun crime involving moral turpitude dahil wala namang fraud,” said Atty. Alberto Agra in an interview.
This viewpoint bolsters Marcos’ position and serves to highlight the ill-natured intent of those pushing for his disqualification.
Atty. Rodriguez also assured the public that Marcos remains focused on nation-building and turning his clear vision of creating a better future for the country and every Filipino into reality.