Leni denies delaying poll protest proceedings, tells Bongbong: ‘Di mo kailangang makiuso sa fake news’

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InterAksyon-News5 file photos of Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday told her 2016 poll rival to refrain from spreading “fake news” about the electoral protest that former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos lodged against her.

Noong una kong nabasa, natawa ako, pero sabi ko nga, parang hindi naman nadadala itong mga Marcos … Alam natin na nauuso ngayon iyong fake news, pero hindi naman kailangang makiuso siya,” Robredo said in an interview with Brigada News FM Sorsogon on Wednesday morning.

[When I first read it, I laughed but told myself that it looked like the Marcoses didn’t learn from their mistakes…We know that fake news is now in vogue but he (Bongbong) does not need to follow what’s in.]

The Vice President was referring to the claim of Marcos’ camp that Robredo and her legal team were again delaying the poll protest proceedings, this time by asking for the postponement of the decryption of ballot images.

Following the directive of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday started decrypting and printing the ballot images from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental — three pilot provinces that Marcos cited in his election protest against Robredo.

Robredo said the “falsehood of such claim may easily be verified before concerned bodies in the protest,” including the Comelec PET.

The Vice President warned the public that “Marcos and his camp will stop at nothing in their desire to return to power.”

Parang iyong experience natin sa kanila, kapag eleksyon, ayaw tumanggap ng pagkatalo. Nandaraya. Pero ngayon, parang may dumagdag nang pandaraya, mayroon nang fake news,” she said, apparently referring to the alleged cheating in the February 7, 1986 snap presidential elections when Bongbong’s father and namesake ran against Corazon Aquino, which led to the People Power uprising on EDSA.

[It’s like our experience with them during elections, they don’t want to accept defeat. They engage in cheating, But now, it appears that fake news has become an additional form of cheating.]

Hanggang ngayon ba naman, dahil hindi niya nakuha iyong gusto niya, magsisinungaling pa siya? Guguluhin niya iyong mga tao sa mga balita na hindi naman totoo?,” added Robredo.

[Up to now, because he (Bongbong) failed to get what he wanted, he would tell lies? He would sow confusion among people through news items that aren’t true?]

Earlier, the Vice President’s legal team slammed as false the claims made by the Marcos camp, saying that they did not file any motion seeking the delay of the scheduled decryption and printing of ballots from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental—the three pilot provinces that the defeated vice presidential candidate identified in his protest.

“We deny making such motion, we have made no such motion, and there was no attempt to delay the proceeding on our part. The official record of the proceedings will speak for itself,” Maria Bernadette Sardillo, co-counsel for the Vice President, said in a statement.

She added that Marcos “should advise his lawyers to look promptly at their own submissions to the court and get their facts straight, so they can say who has been causing delays in this case.”