Disqualify Marcos? Robredo says better to beat him in presidential polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 13) — It would be better to beat former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. than to boot him out of the presidential race, Vice President Leni Robredo said Thursday.

She made the statement as Marcos faces a string of petitions from various groups seeking to block his election bid on the grounds of his tax conviction.

“Ako, ayokong mag-comment doon sa disqualification case. But if you were to ask me, mas gusto ko talunin natin siya sa eleksyon para matapos na ito,” the vice president told CNN Philippines’ News Night.

[Translation: I don’t want to comment on the disqualification case. But if you were to ask me, I’d prefer to win against him in the elections, so as to end this.]

Robredo said defeating Marcos in May would definitively shoot down his claim that she committed election fraud in 2016. That year, the former senator lost to Robredo in the vice presidential polls, prompting him to file an electoral protest. The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed his appeal last year, but he filed a motion for reconsideration.

“Kahit ilang beses pa ‘ko nanalo sa Supreme Court, ito ‘yung narrative na pinu-push niya,” Robredo said. “So, kailangan talagang talunin siya sa susunod na eleksyon para, once and for all, mahinto na ‘yung ginagawa niya na pagpapaniwala sa tao.”

[Translation: No matter how many times I have won before the Supreme Court, this is the narrative he’s pushing. So, I really need to beat him in the upcoming elections to put a stop to the misinformation he’s feeding people once and for all.]

Before winning in 2016, Robredo — who was then the lone female among the vice presidential candidates — made a striking statement: “The last man standing is a woman.”

Asked if she believes history will repeat itself this 2022, Robredo said “most definitely.”

“Unang-una [Firstly], I am the only woman candidate again,” she said. “And number two, again, my record will speak for itself. Ang dami kong pinagdaanan [I went through a lot] in the last five and a half years that I was vice president, and nakatayo pa rin ako ngayon at lumalaban pa rin [I am still standing and fighting].”

Meanwhile, Robredo urged vigilance this election season, following the alleged hacking of Commission on Elections servers.

“Ako, I have to admit na it’s worrying,” Robredo said. “It is enough reason for us to stay vigilant.”

“Kailangan talagang tutukan natin ‘yung buong proseso, just to make sure na kung ano ‘yung will ng tao, ‘yun ‘yung lalabas during the elections [We really need to closely monitor the process, just to make sure that the will of the people will reflect in the election results],” she added.

The Manila Bulletin reported the supposed breach earlier this week, but the poll body denied it.