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He may be disappointed with the outcome of the presidential race but President Aquino is grinning nowadays since his nemesis Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. lost in the vice presidential elections.
After campaigning hard against the return of the Marcoses to national power, the President is gratified that the voters have chosen Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo over her close rival in the last May 9 polls.
Robredo, a Camarines Sur lawmaker, holds a narrow lead over Marcos based on the partial and unofficial count. She has already claimed victory in the VP elections despite allegations of irregularities in the vote count raised by the camp of Marcos.
“So the rejection of his version of reality is very gratifying,” Aquino said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last Thursday in Malacañang.
In the recent campaign period, the President told voters not to elect Marcos, warning he is bound to repeat the mistakes of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
Aquino said the Marcoses have remained unapologetic for the martial law abuses during dictatorship. He lamented that the young Marcos claimed he was ready to say sorry if he knew what he had to be sorry for. “If this is the view of a vice presidential candidate, how we can expect him not to repeat the mistakes of the past if he cannot accept these were wrong?” he said.
Marcos, who pursued a campaign platform of national unity, initially led the vote count for president but was later overtaken by Robredo. Aquino earlier said Robredo’s sincerity and track record won the hearts of the voters who eventually gave her a boost in the vice presidential race.
Last weekend, Robredo declared she has won the vice presidency, saying it was mathematically impossible for Marcos to catch up with her lead. The camp of Marcos later raised allegations of irregularities including possible fraud to favor the administration candidate.
Even Malacañang was not yet convinced by Robredo’s victory pending the official vote count.
“We also note that Congress will soon convene as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC). Perhaps it is best to await the official announcement by Congress as NBOC on the matter,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. added.