(UPDATE) Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos on Monday asked his archrival, Vice President Leni Robredo, to tell her allies to withdraw their petition seeking to stop his candidacy in the 2022 elections.
Marcos was responding to Robredo's denial that the opposition was behind the pleading before Comelec to cancel his application run on grounds that he was convicted for failure to file income tax returns.
"Sabihin niya (Robredo) sa mga kasama niya na i-withdraw na [yung petition] kung ganun ang kanyang opinyon," Marcos told reporters in Tacloban City.
Vic Rodriguez, spokesman for the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos earlier described the petition filed by political detainees, human rights and medical organizations as a nuisance.
MORE ON BONGBONG MARCOS:
The petitioners argue that Marcos is 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 Marcos camp said this was not tantamount to tax evasion.
"Pero siyempre yung kalaban ay gusto maglagay ng bagong issue. Yung abogado naman, yung mga nakakausap ko, sabi nila it is really a nuisance petition," Marcos said Monday.
"Pagdating ng panahon sasagutin pa rin natin at ipapaliwanag natin at ipapakita natin na walang grounds para mag-dismiss sa aking kandidatura," he added.
Rodriguez, in a separate statement on Tuesday, told the opposition to spare the Comelec of their "political propaganda" so that the poll body can focus on their preparations for the 2022 elections.
"Huwag po ninyong gawin entablado ang Comelec ng inyong napakarumi at mapalinlang na uri ng political propaganda. No to gutter politics. Let us instead elevate the level of political discourse and talk about nation building," he said.
"We will not be distracted by all these yellow political ruckus and we remain committed to presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos vow to bring that brand of unifying leadership in the country," he added.
Marcos earlier said that despite the petition filed against him, he would not withdraw his candidacy in the 2022 elections.