Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The chief of staff and spokesman of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday appealed to the petitioners of the disqualification case against the runaway winner in the presidential race to stop pursuing their agenda of divisiveness and animosity.

Atty. Victor Rodriguez said they should instead learn to respect the will of the majority who voted for Marcos and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte in the May 9 national and local elections.

“I appeal to those who keep on pursuing this divisiveness, the people have spoken. The Filipino people have spoken and an overwhelming majority has voted President-elect Bongbong Marcos and Vice President-elect Inday Sara Duterte into office as President and Vice President. Learn to respect the will of the Filipino people,” he said.

Marcos’ spokesman said they have yet to receive a copy of the petition that was filed before the Supreme Court to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the counting of votes cast for him and his proclamation should he win.

Rodriguez pointed out that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already unanimously dismissed the disqualification cases both at the division and en banc levels.

“We have yet to receive a copy of the petition that was filed this morning. However, I think these cases have been resolved unanimously (already) by the Commission on Elections on the division level as well as the Commission on Elections en banc. And these cases have been dismissed and the decision was unanimous,” he said.

Further, the spokesman also called on the petitioners to allow Marcos and his incoming administration to spend the limited time in a day to work productively instead of spending time catering to their animosity.

“And I appeal to you, instead of pushing for your agenda of animosity e tulungan niyo na lang kami na pagtuunan at gamitin natin ang ating limitadong oras (help us to focus and use our limited time) everyday, we are all limited to 24 hours in a day, allow us to be more productive,” he said.

Earlier in the day, petitioners Fr. Christian Buenafe, Fides Lim, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland Vibal, and Josephine Lascano have asked the high court to issue a TRO enjoining and restraining the Senate and House of Representatives from canvassing the votes cast for Marcos and proclaiming him as president should he win the May 9 polls.

As of 2:47 p.m. on Friday, Marcos was still leading the partial and unofficial count of votes with 31,104,175 votes based on data from the Comelec Transparency Media Server.

Meanwhile, Sara Duterte also maintains a huge lead among other vice presidential candidates with 31,561,948 votes as of the same period in the same partial and unofficial count.

A total of 55,197,306 votes out of the 67,442,616 registered voters have already come in as of posting. A total of 98.35 percent of the election returns have been processed so far.

Last week, the Comelec en banc affirmed the resolution of the poll body’s Second Division's resolution that junked the petition filed by Buenafe to cancel Marcos' COC.

Similar to the ruling on the disqualification cases, the Comelec en banc said the petitioners failed to raise new matters or issues that would warrant the reversal of the former Comelec Second Division's ruling.

Recently, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said, under Comelec rules, winning candidates for the 2022 elections who have pending disqualification cases could still be proclaimed without a final decision that would prohibit the poll body to do so and if there is nothing to prevent them from being proclaimed. (PR)