CJ: SC should decide VP poll protest case soon

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), should decide soon on the electoral protest filed by losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo, according to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

“The Supreme Court would like all election cases to be terminated before the end of the term [of Congress],” Peralta told reporters in an online press briefing on Friday.

“That is the policy of the court. Everybody is aware of that,” he said.

Peralta, who marked his first year as the country’s 26th chief magistrate, said he had told his colleagues to render their ruling on Marcos’ petition, which he filed a few days after Robredo took her oath as Vice President in June 2016, before the filing of the certificate of candidacy for the 2022 national elections in October next year.

He said he had implemented the policy of concluding all poll protests within the term of office of elected officials when he headed the House of Representatives’ Electoral Tribunal (HRET) during the 17th Congress.

“All the cases were resolved before I left [HRET] in June 2019,” the Chief Justice said.

The PET had already thrown out two of Marcos’ three causes of actions to nullify the Vice President’s win, including his failed attempt to wipe out Robredo’s lead in the three pilot provinces — Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental — where he claimed cheating was rampant.