FOLLOWING the recent ruling denying the petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) for president of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Marcos camp is urging the petitioners not to raise the matter at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc and the Supreme Court.

Lawyer Victor Rodriguez, chief of staff and Marcos' spokesperson, said this on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, in a virtual presser attended by the media members of Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

Rodriguez said the recent Comelec ruling upholds the law and right of every candidate like Marcos to run from public office "free from any form of harassment and discrimination."

"Maganda ang naging desisyon ng Comelec at sinabi na walang ginawang pagsisinungaling si Bongbong Marcos nung siya ay nag-file ng kaniyang certificate of candidacy at wala rin siyang ginawang false material representation (The Comelec decision is a positive development as they said, Bongbong Marcos did not lie when he filed his COC and he did not make false material representation)," he said.

He emphasized that the presidential aspirant did not lie when he stated that the latter is eligible to run in public office, and when he was asked if he had been convicted of a crime linked to moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is defined by the Supreme Court as "an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted or customary rule of right and duty between man and man."

The Comelec Second Division denied the petition to cancel the COC for presidency of Marcos on Monday, January 17, 2022.

In November, Fr. Christian Buenafe of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Fides Lim of Kapatid, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez of Medical Action Group, Celia Lagman Sevilla of Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance, Roland Vibal of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, and Josephine Lascano of Balay Rehabilitation Center filed the petition urging the Comelec to cancel or deny Marcos’s COC due to “multiple false material representations” it contains.

The petitioners specified that Marcos falsified his COC when he claimed that he was eligible to be a candidate for president of the Philippines in the 2022 national elections when in fact, he is disqualified from doing so, citing his conviction before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in 1995 over his “multiple failures” to file his income tax returns.

Rodriguez said their camp called the petitions "baseless" and "nuisance," adding that they are prepared to face them in case the matter would reach the higher court.

"Bagkus ang katotohanan, ang nagsinungaling ang mga petitioners (Thus, the truth is that it is the petitioners who are lying)," Rodriguez said.

He said, though, that they are anticipating the petitioners' next action of raising the matter to the higher court.

The lawyer said that while they recognize the petitioners’ right, he encouraged them to accept the Comelec ruling.

"I encourage the petitioners, ang nakabisto sa inyong pagsisinungaling not once, not twice, but thrice kayo nagsisinungaling nabistong nagsinungaling sa kasong ito ng Comeelc. Bistado kayo ng Comelec. Kaya maghunos-dili kayo, pag aralan ninyo ng mabuti ang inyong pagsisinungaling (since the Comelec had already busted your lies, not only once, twice, but thrice. That’s why you need to keep in mind the need to study your lying efforts)," Rodriguez said.

"Bilang Pilipino, gawin naman ninuo ang inyong duty as a responsible citizen wag na ninyong i-angat sa en banc at sa Supreme Court ang inyong pagsisinungaling dahil you are just wasting the time of the Commission on Election na dapat sana concentrated sa paghahanda sa nalalapit na 2022 elections (As a Filipino, let us do our duty as responsible citizen by not raising your petition to the en banc and Supreme Court because you are just wasting the time of Comelec, who should be concentrating in preparing for the fast approaching 2022 elections)," Rodriguez added.

The spokesperson, meanwhile, thanked Marcos's running mate, Davao City Mayor and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio, for her moral support to her tandem.

In a statement released by Liloan Municipal Mayor Christina Frasco, spokesperson of Duterte-Carpio, the Davao City mayor said the Comelec decision is “an opportunity for the Filipino people to express their will in fair and free elections.”