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Marcos-Sara tandem? Bongbong says it is still up in the air


Former senator Bongbong Marcos on Wednesday said it is still uncertain whether he will have Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as his running mate in Eleksyon 2022.

In a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Marcos said "everything is possible" in the fielding of candidacy for next year's polls.

"Everything is possible right now. The only thing that's impossible is with me running with Sen. Ping (Lacson) or with Tito Sen (Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III) because they are already clear," he said when asked if he will pursue a tandem with the presidential daughter.

"Yung (Martin) Romualdez, Marcos sama na natin (We can also include the Romualdez and Marcos tandem). Of course. All of this is still up in the air," he added, referring to his cousin,  Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Marcos further pointed out that he is nearly making a decision for a candidacy in next year's elections.

"You have to be planning already, at this point, I am coming closer and closer to the decision but we are not there yet," Marcos said.

Asked about his decision, Marcos said his definite decision is that he will pursue a national post for 2022.

On the possibility of him joining his sister Imee at the Senate, he said: "We've seen them before, if that's what it ends up being. It is not particularly unusual."

His sister, Senator Imee Marcos, earlier pointed out that Duterte and Marcos teaming up for 2022 polls is a "marriage made in heaven."

Possible 2022 face off with Robredo

The former senator also said he is confident that he can beat Vice President Leni Robredo if they face off in the 2022 polls even as the latter  defeated him in the 2016 national elections.

"It is entirely possible. If it is going to be a one on one fight, that is good, because I know I can win that," he said, when sought for comment on a possible battle against Robredo in next year's elections.

Years after he lost to Robredo, Marcos had filed a petition before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to reverse its decision junking his election protest against the incumbent vice president.

In response, Robredo's lawyers had asked the PET to junk Marcos' petition and further dismiss the former senator's election protest. 

Monitor 'notorious' Smartmatic in 2022

Marcos also appealed that there should be vigilance in the 2022 elections as Smartmatic will be used in the automated elections.

"Of course, in 2016, what became very, very notorious, is Smartmatic. What do we do to battle that? Bantayan ang boto nang mabuti. Maliwanag na maliwanag na preferred ng Comelec ang Smartmatic sa kontrata kahit papaano," he said.

(Let's monitor the votes. It is clear that Comelec is favoring Smartmatic.)

"We have very much learned in 2016 at mayroon sa 2019 (there is also in 2019), and started in 2010, when Smartmatic came into the picture mayroon na talagang nangyayari (something is happening)," the former senator added.

In 2016,  Marcos claimed that there was evidence of fraud to support his election protest against Robredo. He also alleged that Comelec and Smartmatic added new features in its system.

GMA News Online sought a comment from Comelec regarding Marcos' statements but has yet to receive a reply.

But Comelec previously defended its two contracts that it awarded to Smartmatic, saying the technology provider won through an open bidding process. —LDF, GMA News