THE runaway winner in the surveys for preferred presidential candidates in the May elections has become the butt of jokes in the past few days because of his absence in last Friday's preliminary conference on a disqualification case against him at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Hanna Barcena, a lawyer for Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., told the poll body's first division, chaired by Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, that the ex-senator could not join the proceedings even online because, "He might cause the spread of the virus."

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