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Junk poll protest, business club asks

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati Business Club (MBC) on Wednesday expressed hope that the release of a report on the recount of votes in the 2016 vice presidential elections would lead to the junking of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s protest case against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“We hope this is a step toward dismissing the protest, and reducing the political and judicial uncertainty that came with it—uncertainty that manifests in risk premiums for those who would invest in Philippine jobs and industries,” the group said in a statement.

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The MBC added that putting the protest to rest would allow the high court and the Office of the Vice President “to focus on pressing issues with great impact on the well-being of the Filipino people.”

The MBC, a private nonstock, nonprofit business organization founded by Enrique Zobel following the 1981 lifting of martial law, is chaired by Edgar Chua, president and CEO of Cavitex Holdings Corp.

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It is cochaired by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, chair and CEO of Ayala Corp., and Roberto de Ocampo, chair of Philippine Veterans Bank.

Recount results

Supreme Court justices on Tuesday voted 11-2 to release to the parties the Sept. 9 report on the recount done in the three test provinces handpicked by Marcos. Acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the high court required the parties to comment on the recount results within 20 days.

Marcos, who lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes, had sought a vote recount in the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.  He also petitioned for the annulment of votes in the Mindanao provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur for alleged irregularities.

But Marcos could not have beaten Robredo in the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM),   Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said in a statement, adding that the PET must “dismiss such a baseless protest.”

Martial law atrocities

“The people in the now-defunct ARMM voted according to their conscience and decisively elected Vice President Leni Robredo. She deserves to serve the people who gave her the mandate to the second highest post in the land,”  said Hataman, a former ARMM governor and member of Robredo’s Liberal Party.

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The people of ARMM voted against Marcos “because of the atrocities they experienced during the time of martial law under the term of the elder Marcos,” Hataman said, referring to the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986.

“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,” the Basilan lawmaker said.

Marcos Jr. also “did not act on the measure now known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law” when he was a senator, Hataman added.

“Vice President Robredo won the hearts of the people of ARMM, and won the region’s vote alongside President Duterte,” he added.

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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Leni Robredo, Makati Business Club, vice presidential electoral protest
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