Bersamin: ‘I wanted to delay the vote’ on BBM poll protest
MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Wednesday said he wanted to delay the vote on the election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo last Tuesday, but he was outvoted.
Bersamin made the disclosure on the sidelines of the launching of his coffee table book titled “0Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin: His Enduring Legacy.”
“I wanted to delay the vote because I did not like to take part in it, because I did not like the public, like the media, speculating that I cooked or orchestrated the result,” he said. “But I always told you: Hindi pwedeng magluto dito sa Supreme Court dahil ang daming involved.”
[You cannot cook things up here inside the Supreme Court because there are too many people involved.]
“But the en banc prevailed on me to take the vote yesterday, and after some deliberations, we were able to conclude that it is time indeed for the parties to be asked to comment on the report generated by Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, who was the justice in charge,” he added.
— tetch torres-tupas (@T2TupasINQ) October 16, 2019
Last Tuesday, the high court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, authorized the release of the report on the recount on the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental to the camp of Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo.
Bersamin, and 10 other justices concurred.
He said asking both sides — Marcos and Robredo — to comment on the initial recount result was “part of due process.”
He said whoever felt prejudiced by any conclusions in that report should be given the chance to comment or challenge the conclusions.
With regards to both parties claiming victory, Bersamin that was only their opinion and not of the tribunal.
“It has not come from the court. It’s up to them whatever they say. They may distort even what we have decided. So it’s not up to us, unless somebody else comes here and complains that there was a falsification of the truth. We just leave them at that,” he added.
Aside from giving copies of the report to both parties, the tribunal required both parties to submit memoranda on the various causes relating to the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the third cause of action in Marcos’s electoral protest.
The third cause of action that Marcos has raised in his protest sought the annulment of election results for the vice presidential post in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan, on the ground of terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters, as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756, protested clustered precincts in the areas.
The tribunal has given both parties 20 days to file their comment to the committee report and memoranda to the third cause of action.
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