Robredo won fairly in contested Moro provinces – Hataman
CAPAS, Tarlac, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman urged on Wednesday the Supreme Court to dismiss the “baseless” electoral protest of losing vice presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo, saying she won fair and square in the contested Moro provinces.
The Basilan representative said Robredo won the 2016 elections because she campaigned to almost every province in Mindanao and had “genuine conversations with the Bangsamoro people.”
“We call on the PET [Presidential Electoral Tribunal] to dismiss such a baseless protest. The people in the now-defunct ARMM voted according to their conscience and decisively elected Vice President Leni Robredo,” Hataman said in a statement. “She deserves to serve the people who gave her the mandate to the second-highest post in the land.”
Marcos, the namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, identified three new provinces where he claims poll fraud was committed during the 2016 national elections – Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
The former senator originally chose three pilot provinces for his protest— Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
Hataman, a former human rights activist, explained that the people in the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) also voted against Marcos because of the atrocities they experienced during the martial law period under the term of the dictator.
“This may be the reason Bongbong Marcos did not even campaign personally in some parts of Mindanao and ARMM, for this would require acknowledging their family’s crimes, especially those against the Bangsamoro people. All this is reflected in the votes we cast, and the choice we made in Vice President Leni Robredo,” Hataman explained.
The legislator also stressed that the younger Marcos sat on the measure now known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to replace ARMM.
“It should not be a surprise, therefore, that the people of ARMM voted for Vice President Robredo. The Bangsamoro people remember, and Marcos seeks to annul our collective memory along with the votes he now seeks to nullify,” Hataman added.
The high tribunal, sitting as PET, has yet to decide on whether to dismiss or proceed with Marcos’s election protest. Eleven of 13 magistrates voted to release to the parties the Sept. 9 report on the recount done in the three pilot provinces handpicked by Marcos, while Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa dissented.
Carpio and Caguioa reportedly said the protest should have been dismissed since Marcos failed to make a “substantial recovery.”
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