Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will not take on any government job because he is keen on pushing through with his electoral protest to prove his claim that he was cheated in the May 9 polls, his camp said on Monday.
Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos’ adviser, said the Ilocano senator offered to assist President-elect Rodrigo Duterte “in any way but not through any government position.”
Dela Cruz issued the clarification after Romulo Macalintal, lawyer of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, said Marcos’ acceptance of any position is “political suicide” and surrender of his electoral protest.
“Such statement smacks of desperation coming on the heels of the Liberal Party’s non-filing of SOCE [Statement of Campaign Expenditures]. First, such statement is speculative as no offer was made to Senator Marcos because both he and President Rodrigo Duterte are aware of the one-year ban,” dela Cruz said.
“Second, Senator Marcos offered to assist [the Duterte]administration in any way but not through any government position and third and most important, the deluge of evidence and witnesses in favor of Senator Marcos will ensure that he will assume the vice presidential seat being warmed for him sooner than Macalintal can even speculate,” he added.
George Garcia, Marcos’ legal counsel, also on Monday said the senator’s camp is not backing out and will surely file an electoral protest.
Garcia described Macalintal’s statement as “presumptuous,” noting that the senator’s openness to a Cabinet post will have no effect on their legal move.
“Whatever will be the final decision of [Marcos], it will always be to the benefit of the country and the people,” he said.
A political analyst agreed with Garcia.
Prof. Ramon Casiple, Executive Director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said there is no relationship between the electoral protest and the possible inclusion of Marcos in Duterte’s Cabinet.
Casiple noted that the only time Marcos’ protest will be affected is when he decides to seek another elective post.
“His [case]weakens if he will run again for any elective post,” he explained.
Marcos earlier said his electoral protest is not only to prove that he won, but also to expose the fraud committed by the Liberal Party and other victims of the poll cheating in last month’s elections.
The Marcos camp is expected to file its complaint before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on or before June 28, two days before the deadline.
Macalintal said in a statement that Marcos’ interest in a Cabinet post means that the senator has admitted defeat.
“The discussion with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of a possible Cabinet post after the expiration of the one-year ban on appointments of defeated candidates is an admission that he lost the election for Vice President and the weakness of any election protest he would file against Vice President-elect Robredo. The one-year ban applies only to election losers,” he added.
“For Marcos to wait for it [Cabinet post] is an acknowledgment of having lost in the 2016 elections for Vice President. If Marcos believes he has strong evidence to prove that he was ‘cheated’ in the said elections, then he should just concentrate on his election protest and should never seek a position lower than the vice presidency,” Macalintal said.
“To accept a Cabinet position while his election protest is pending will mean political suicide for Marcos. He would spend close to P100 million for his protest, which will eventually be dismissed since the consequence of accepting said Cabinet post is abandonment and withdrawal of his election protest for the VP post,” he added.
With LLANESCA T. PANTI