Bongbong Marcos asks Justice Leonen to inhibit from poll protest case vs Robredo
MANILA, Philippines (Updated) —Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos on Monday asked Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to inhibit from his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
“If truth be told, the scathing pronouncements of Associate Justice Leonen in a number of landmark cases, his previous employment history as well as the manner in which he has handled the election protest thus far will prove that he will not be a fair and impartial ponente (author) in the instant electoral protest,” read Marcos’ strong manifestation with extremely urgent omnibus motion submitted to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on Monday.
Leonen is currently the justice-in-charge of the election protest that Marcos has filed against Robredo. He replaced Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa as the ponente of the case in October 2019.
“It is clear that we’ll never get justice if Leonen is around because of his hatred towards me and my family. This is evidenced by his past decisions where he unequivocally condemned me and my family. It’s obvious he’s doing everything in his power to suppress the real story behind the 2016 Vice-Presidential elections, disenfranchising millions of Filipinos who wanted nothing but credible elections,” Marcos said.
The motion cites several cases where Leonen made statements about the Marcoses.
One of the cases mentioned is the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayan where the magistrate, in his dissenting opinion said: “…not only was he [Marcos] the President that presided over those violations, but that he and his spouse, relatives, associates, cronies, and subordinates were active participants… there has been no sufficient public apology, the full acknowledgment of facts, or any clear acceptance of responsibility on the part of Ferdinand E. Marcos or his Heirs.”
Marcos, in an online press conference, added that the fact that Leonen inquired about PET’s jurisdiction over his protest when hearings have been conducted and it has been pending for four and a half years “ is clearly a delaying tactic.”
“We have to do something dahil very clear that Justice Leonen has prejudged this case. Justice Leonen is hostile to me, to my family, to our entire group,” he said.
Last week, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) submitted their respective Comments on the election protest in compliance with the PET’s order. Both affirmed Marcos’ position that the PET had the power to declare the annulment of votes in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao, the three areas identified in Marcos’s Third Cause of Action.
“The fact that both the Comelec and the OSG agreed with my position is a clear sign that the protest should move forward. However, Justice Leonen’s bias and deliberate procrastination continue to drag the case,” Marcos said.
He said he has no intention of further delaying his protest. What he wants is to prevent the protest from becoming moot and academic given that the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections will begin next year.
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