Ex-CJ Panganiban: Election failure declaration not covered by PET rules
MANILA, Philippines — Amid the ongoing poll protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo, can the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) declare a failure of election?
Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban on Thursday explained that rules of the PET cover only two major issues—quo warranto and recount in the form of an election protest.
“The rules of the PET cover only quo warranto and election protest, not failure of elections,” Panganiban said in an interview with ANC.
The former Chief Justice explained that the declaration of a failure of election is a power given to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
But assuming that the PET has the power to declare failure of elections, Panganiban said there are still no rules detailing how the Tribunal will exercise its power.
“We must first make the rules,” Panganiban said, adding that it is the Supreme Court that has to make the rules.
The Supreme Court sits as the PET.
“The rules of court are made by the Supreme Court so the rules of the tribunal are also made by the tribunal, that will take time. Because you have to hear the parties again. They are affected,” Panganiban said.
“You don’t make rules, you don’t act unless you hear the parties. That’s part of due process,” he added.
Even if the election is declared a failure, it does not necessarily mean that a new winner will be declared as a new election will still have to take place.
“That’s what’s provided by the election court. If there is a failure of election, call for a new election,” the retired Chief Justice said.
PET did not rule on the committee report on the result of revision of ballots from three pilot provinces chosen by Marcos and instead decided to allow the release of the report to the two parties.
The camps of Robredo and Marcos were asked to comment on the committee report and submit a memoranda on other issues relating to the jurisdiction, as well as about Marcos’ third cause of action which seeks to nullify election results for the vice presidency in Lanao Del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao. /muf
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