Bongbong got it wrong: Robredo says PET junked entire poll protest
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo emphasized on Tuesday evening that the decision of the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), dismissed the whole electoral protest of former senator Bongbong Marcos.
Robredo’s assertion comes after Marcos’ camp insisted that the PET’s ruling was merely for their second cause of action in the poll protest and not on the entire case.
“I think may clarification na ‘yong Supreme Court, may pinabasa sila sa akin kanina just a few minutes ago, na klinarify na ng Supreme Court ngayon-ngayon lang na mali ‘yong interpretation na ‘yon,” Robredo said in a press briefing streamed online.
(I think the Supreme Court issued a clarification, they had me read about it a few minutes ago, that the Supreme Court issued a clarification moments ago that such interpretation of the Marcos camp is wrong.)
“Parang sinasabi ng Supreme Court na ‘yong dinismiss ‘yong entire electoral protest. Hindi pa namin natatanggap ‘yong copy ng resolution pero Supreme Court na mismo ‘yong nagpalabas ng briefer just a few minutes ago na mali ‘yong interpretation na ‘yon ng camp ni Mr. Marcos at ‘yong decision ay dismissing the entire electoral protest,” she added.
(The Supreme Court was saying that what was dismissed is the entire electoral protest. We have not received yet a copy of the resolution but the Supreme Court itself issued the briefer just a few minutes ago implying that the interpretation made by the camp of Mr. Marcos is wrong and that the decision is to dismiss the entire electoral protest.)
Robredo was referring to a clarification from the SC’s Public Information Office, stressing that the PET’s 15 members unanimously dismissed Marcos’ entire electoral protest, and not just a portion of it, for lack of merit.
Likewise, the PET dismissed Robredo’s counter-protest against Marcos.
Earlier, Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez claimed that the PET decision was not yet final, asserting that it merely ruled on their second cause of action and not yet on their third cause of action in the protest case.
The third cause of action, Rodriguez noted, is their bid to nullify votes that Robredo got from certain Mindanao provinces.
“Based on the official pronouncement made by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal today, the court unanimously voted to dismiss our second cause of action which is the manual recount and judicial revision,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
“However, as to the issue on how to proceed with our third cause of action, which is the annulment of votes in Mindanao, the Tribunal has yet to decide on the matter,” he added.
However, in its updated briefer Tuesday afternoon, the high court, through its Public Information Office said that “the 15 members of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal unanimously dismissed the entire electoral protest.”
Marcos lost to Robredo in the 2016 presidential elections, but questions were raised as she won only by a slim margin of over 260,000 votes. But Marcos’ second cause of action in the poll protest — a recount of votes from his hand-picked provinces Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental — has enabled Robredo to even widen her lead against the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Tuesday’s release of the PET’s decision on Marcos’ electoral protest provided a big relief to Robredo and her staff at the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Robredo said that even if the OVP strived to keep its focus on performing their duties despite being under the shadow of the Marcos poll protest, the PET’s decision was still a welcome comfort that provides them more motivation and determination to serve the people.
“But the affirmation that we received from the PET today would allow us to focus more on the more important work of serving our people, lalo itong magpapalakas ng ating pagkilos at pagtulong, lalo na ngayong panahon ng matinding krisis,” she also said.
Government officials, including lawmakers from the minority group, said the PET’s decision should bury doubts that Robredo really won in the 2016 elections albeit by a slim margin.
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