Marcos: I do not participate in politically-motivated hearings

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Vice presidential candidate and Sen. Ferdinand  "Bongbong" Marcos II said his absence in Senate hearings on corruption did not mean guilt — but only reflected his reluctance to participate in politically-motivated hearings.

During the sole vice presidential debate on Sunday (April 10), spearheaded by CNN Philippines, together with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Kapisanan ng Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), in partnership with Business Mirror, Marcos shrugged off Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano's allegations about his alleged involvement in the Janet Lim Napoles-led pork barrel scandal.

Related: Cayetano hits at Marcos on corruption issue

Cayetano alleged that Marcos was dismayed when a certain Maya Santos was invited during one of the Senate hearings on the controversial issue.

"Naalala ko tuloy nung hearing ni Napoles, galit siyang (Marcos) lumapit sa'kin nung malaman niyang inimbitahan namin ang isang Maya Santos," said Cayetano.

[Translation: I remember during the Napoles hearing, he angrily went up to me when he learned that we invited a certain Maya Santos.]

"'Yun pala, siya 'yung 'in between' nina Marcos at Napoles."

[Translation: It turns out, she is the "in between" of Marcos and Napoles.]

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Marcos junked the allegation and quipped: "Hindi po ako sasama sa ganyang klaseng pamumulitka na tinataya ang dapat pantulong sa ating mga kababayan... Dapat anti-corruption [ang mga hearing sa Senado] pero ang totoo itinataas lang nila (lawmakers) ang kanilang sariling bangko."

[Translation: I will not participate in that kind of politics which puts at stake the welfare of our countrymen... Anti-corruption should be central (to the Senate hearings) but, in reality, they (lawmakers) are just doing that for personal gratuity.]

Earlier, Marcos claimed his name had never been tainted with corruption, saying that the allegations against him all boiled down to politics as he vied for the country's second top post.

Also read: Sociologist explains: Despite father's dictatorship, why are Marcoses still popular?