Bongbong Marcos to run in 2022 after court loss to Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — A day after the Supreme Court upheld Vice President Leni Robredo’s 2016 electoral victory, the lawyer of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. continued to cling to the hope that the high tribunal had junked only part of their poll protest.
Vic Rodriguez also announced on Wednesday that the namesake of the dictator and former president would be running in the 2022 elections, although he remained mum on the position being eyed by Marcos.
Rodriguez said in a television interview that they were still trying to confirm if the high court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), had thrown out his client’s entire electoral protest or just their second cause of action, which was the manual recount of votes.
“We’re following the advice of Marcos to approach this properly,” he added. “We are still waiting for a copy of the ruling to make an informed, educated assessment.”
But no less than the high court’s public information office, which released the dispositive portion of the ruling on Tuesday night, had clarified that the protest was dismissed in its entirety.
While the full court resolution has yet to be released, the Inquirer reported that the magistrates “were in unison” that the complaint should be scrapped since there was no substantial recovery in the manual recount of votes done in selected precincts that Marcos himself had identified.
Annulment of elections
Court records showed that the recount in the pilot provinces of Iloilo, Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental even expanded Robredo’s lead over him by more than 15,000 votes.
But Marcos’ camp seem intent on pushing back against the decisive language of the ruling by insisting their third cause of action—the annulment of elections—could still prosper in court.
According to Rodriguez, Rule 65 of the PET rules, which calls for the dismissal of electoral protests if protester failed to show substantial recovery in three pilot areas, does not cover annulment of elections which is distinct and separate from the recount.
“Whatever the decision is, we are not fazed by it. We made a strong case that massive fraud happened in the vice presidential race, and that the vice presidency was stolen from the real winner,” he said.