MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao was “not surprised” by the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division which dismissed the disqualification cases against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Pacquiao, who is also vying for the presidential post, said that Comelec’s decision has “no effect” on his campaign.
“We were not surprised with the decision of the Comelec. This has no effect in our campaign to convince our people that the Philippines needs a leader who will not cheat and steal and one who truly loves our people,” Pacquiao said in a statement Friday.
“Ma-[disqualify] man sya o hindi walang magbabago sa ating plano na ipaglaban ang mga mahihirap,” he added.
(Whether he gets disqualified or not, this will not change our plans to fight for the poor.)
The Comelec First Division has dismissed the consolidated disqualification cases against Marcos Jr. for “lack of merit.”
The resolution covered the cases filed by martial law survivors through Bonifacio Ilagan, Akbayan party-list group, and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Commissioner Abubakar Mangelen.
The groups sought to disqualify Marcos Jr. from the May 9 elections because of his conviction for failing to file income tax returns from 1982-1985, which they said perpetually disqualifies him from seeking an elective post.
Following the decision of the Comelec First Division, Marcos Jr. said he can now carry on with the campaign “without all of these distractions that were put in the way and allow our own people to make their own decisions and to vote for whom the candidate is that they want.”