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Marcos gave radio interview before disqualification case hearing

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Marcos gave radio interview before disqualification case hearing
Photo shows presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos speaking at a radio interview aired hours after he was seen by a doctor for "body malaise, febrile episodes and difficulty speaking" due to sore throat.
DZME 1530 khz via Facebook / Philstar.com screengrab

MANILA, Philippines (Update 4, 10 a.m., January 10) — The afternoon before he skipped the Commission on Elections’ preliminary conference on disqualification petitions against him on Friday, presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appeared at a radio interview.

A medical certificate signed by Dr. Benedict Francis Valdecanas on January 7 stated that Marcos was experiencing body malaise and that he had "difficulty in speaking due to a painfully congested throat."

The certificate was dated January 7 while the medical observations indicated were recorded on January 6 at "around 10 a.m."

It also noted that Marcos had direct contact with two confirmed cases and was isolated to prevent coronavirus transmission.


Doctor's certificate issued on former senator Bongbong Marcos' medical condition on January 7, as observed on the morning of January 6.

At 4:45 p.m. on January 6—supposedly the afternoon after he was seen by the doctor—Marcos was speaking about his platform on the Partners Punto Derecho radio show with broadcasters Willie Delgado Jr. and Jorge Bandola over DZME 1530.

The former senator said in this interview that his team was "ready" for the Comelec's public hearing.

"Well, our lawyers are ready to present the evidence. They've been preparing it for a while. So we'll bring the evidence tomorrow to give to Comelec so they can decide," Marcos said in Filipino, projecting no visible difficulties speaking as of yet.

"Let's just see how it turns out. I suppose Comelec knows what they're doing anyway and what they need for the elections in May."

Responding to reports related to his client's non-appearance before the Comelec, lawyer and spokesperson Victor Rodriguez claimed Marcos had actually appeared in an earlier interview prior to his Punto Derecho appearance.

"On the morning of Jan. 6, 2022, [Marcos] proceeded with his scheduled morning interview despite feeling unwell," Rodriguez said, slamming the reports as "disinformation."

"After the interview, his physician arrived and determined that he had a fever and throat swelling. [Marcos] was instructed to take a midday rest," the lawyer added. "Mid-afternoon, however, he went on with another radio interview. We believe it was that afternoon interview which exacerbated his condition."

No appearance the next day

Proceedings for the Comelec conference where Marcos was a no-show started past 9 a.m. the day after, on January 7.

At the Friday conference, Hanna Barcena, Marcos’ counsel, told the Comelec after a substantial delay that the presidential aspirant was "not feeling well" and could not bring himself to join through a videoconference.

READ: Marcos isolated due to COVID-19 risk, skips Comelec conference on disqualification cases

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, head of the1st Division, inquired Marcos could not show up even virtually on his mobile phone or laptop so his presence could be noted. "Why can't he be on Zoom?" Guanzon asked. "I want to see him because he has no medical certificate."

To this, Barcena responded: "Yes, Your Honor, because we are afraid that he might cause the spread of the virus.”

Guanzon on Monday morning said she would either require Valdecanas, the doctor who issued Marcos' medical certificate, to include his medical licesne number in the document and have it notarized, or explain his actions. The commissioner said a show-cause order may also be issued to Marcos' spokesperson.

Reacting to reports about Marcos' radio interview the day before the Comelec conference, Guanzon said in a tweet: "So why didn't his lead lawyer submit a medical certificate dated Jan 6 if this is true?" The certificate was dated January 7, the day of the public hearing. — with reports from Xave Gregorio and Kristine Joy Patag

 

Editor's Note: Latest update adds the statement of Victor Rodriguez, Bongbong Marcos' spokesperson. This article earlier reported that the radio interview was aired "hours before" the Comelec conference. It has been clarified to say the conference happened the next morning. The update also indicates when findings, as stated in the medical certificate, were recorded.

2022 ELECTIONS

BONGBONG MARCOS

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