MANILA – Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday the petition challenging his and his wife's 2019 congressional run was "political harassment" with no legal basis.
The petition by Leonides Buac Jr. asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reject the Cayetanos’ certificates of candidacy on the basis that “a married couple can only maintain one legal residence at any given time.”
The former Cabinet official is eyeing a House seat for the first district while his wife, incumbent Mayor Lani Cayetano, is running in the second congressional district.
"It’s pure political harassment," Cayetano told ANC's Headstart when asked about the petition.
He said he moved to barangay Bagumbayan in 1992 and he continues to cast his vote in the same district to this day. He recalled winning as councilor, vice mayor, representative, and senator while residing here.
The same lawyer, who he claimed was backed by former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, lodged complaints against his brother Lino and sister Pia when they ran for public office while residing in the Fort area, he said.
"These are the guys appointed by Aquino—so the Aquino dynasty, the Abad dynasty, the Abaya dynasty never heard anything from them. But suddenly, napakasama naming mga tao, napaka-corrupt, napaka-walanghiya, napakagarapal," he said.
"When I was Secretary of Foreign Affairs, my wife was mayor, my ate was congresswoman, they didn’t say anything. But now that I’m running for Congress and Speaker, suddenly napakasama naming tao," he added.
There was "no legal basis" in the complaint because jurisprudence states that "the Family Code does not apply to the Comelec domicile," he said.
"Domicile is your intention…Yung domicile mo isa lang, but yung residence marami," he said.
"The lawyer is trying to confuse people sa legal, sa common sense," he added.