Robredo-Bongbong legal battle reboils
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has ordered Vice President Leni Robredo to respond to former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ appeal to reconsider its dismissal of his election protest.
Robredo had 10 days from receiving the notice to reply.
“I confirm that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, in its resolution of June 15, 2021 in PET Case No. 005, has required respondent VP Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to file her comment to the Motion for Reconsideration dated May 6, 2021 filed by protestee Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, within a period of 10 days from receipt of notice,” high court’s Public Information Chief and Spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka told reporters Monday.
Marcos, in his motion, said he would stop contesting the dismissal of his other two causes of actions but pleaded with the PET to revise the decision on the third cause, arguing that it is independent of the other two.
The third cause of action sought to annul election results in 2,756 protested clustered precincts in Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan because of terrorism, violence, threats, intimidation, voter substitution and pre-shading of ballots in Robredo’s favor.
The PET, in its February ruling, said the former senator’s “abject failure” to provide evidence led to his appeal being denied.
In his motion for reconsideration, Marcos said his third cause of action should have been treated separately from his other two. He said its dismissal violated his right to due process since he could no longer present his evidence.
The PET, in dismissing his third cause of action, said Marcos failed to specify which precincts in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan did terrorism, violence, force, and intimidation of voters has occurred.
Through Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, PET said that protests in Lanao and Maguindanao were mostly dismissed, while none in Basilan have been described as failures.
But Marcos said his claims did not fall short since he complied with the PET order by submitting a list of his evidence and witnesses.
He also maintained that the PET made a mistake by applying Rule 65 to his third cause of action.
Rule 65 of the PET rules provides that a protest can be dismissed when the results of the revision and appraisal of ballots in the pilot provinces do not support allegations of fraud or irregularities.