(UPDATE) Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos on Wednesday said he would not withdraw his candidacy for president in 2022, responding to disqualifaction effort against him.
The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said the petition filed by human rights groups before the Comelec was unurprising and politically motivated.
"Siguro kasama na rin yan sa pulitika lalo na yung aming mga kalaban. Imbes na humarap sa eleksyon, kasi siguro natatakot sila sa numero e i-disqualify na lang ako," he told RMN Palawan in an interview.
"Pero hindi ako natatakot, hindi ako aatras, hindi ako magwi-withdraw. Patuloy lahat ang aking gagawin. Hindi ako mag-slide down. Patuloy lang ang aking kandidatura," he added.
The petitioners alleged that Marcos was ineligible to run for any public office as a Quezon City court in 1995 found him guilty of failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.
The National Internal Revenue Code provides that any person convicted of a crime penalized under the tax law will be "perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election."
They added that Marcos' certificate of candidacy contains "multiple false material representations" when he claimed that he was eligible to run for president despite being disqualified to do so.
Marcos said he couldn't understand the allegations being hurled against him.
"Hindi ko nga naintindihan kasi sinasabi nila may problema raw yung aking kandidatura. May isang kaso daw na hindi naayos. Hindi ko alam, sasagutin na lang namin ito pagdating," he added.
Fellow presidential aspirant Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said that if it were up to him, Marcos should still be allowed to run for president.
"Doon na lang niyo ipakita sa balota ang inyong dislike sa kanya. Kung ano ang inyong gustong gawin sa balota para lalabas ang totoong mandate ng taumbayan," he told reporters in a separate interview.
Dela Rosa said it would not look good for Marcos' rivals to win the elections just because he was pulled out from the race.
Still, Dela Rosa said the laws pertaining to disqualification of candidates who was convicted of tax-related cases must prevail.
Marcos' spokesperson, Vic Rodriguez, said the "predictable nuisance petition" will be addressed at the proper time and forum.
"Until then, we will refrain from commenting on their propaganda. Our camp does not engage in gutter politics. Our campaign is about nation building," he added.
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