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Robredo: We understand reason for delay in electoral protest conference

Martial law petitions are ‘very urgent,‘ Vice President says
By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 07:12 PM June 08, 2017
Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday, while she would want the electoral protest against her “speedily” resolved, she also understood why the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), had to reset the preliminary conference initially scheduled for June 21.

“I understand the reasons for the delay,” Robredo said in Filipino. “Of course, we want [the protest] resolved as speedily as possible because until this is over, this would always be a nuisance to us.”

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“It it to our best interest that the protest is resolved right away,” she added. “But we also understand that there were petitions filed with the court on the martial law declaration which is also very urgent. This is what the Supreme Court would tackle first.”

The Supreme Court reset the preliminary conference for July 11.

Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is challenging Robredo’s electoral victory. Robredo filed a counter electoral protest against him.

In a statement, Marcos’s camp said that, while it understood the reason for the resetting of the preliminary conference, it also emphasized that “to further delay an equally important case that likewise involves public interest.”

The SC will hold oral arguments on the martial law petitions on June 13 and 15. Various groups have gone to the high tribunal to challenge the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration over Mindanao, as well as the decision of Congress not to hold a joint session to review the martial law proclamation.

Marcos’s camp claimed that “every day of delay” would benefit Robredo, whom they described as the “unauthentic occupant of the office discharging fake public service based on [a] pretentious program of governance whose real objective is to oust President Duterte no less.”

It was apparently referring to Robredo’s Angat Buhay poverty alleviation program that reaches the grassroots communities.

Robredo spent part of her Thursday afternoon in San Fernando City in the company of young female high school students, listening to them tackle the problem of teenage pregnancy under the “Babaenihan Community Talk,” which is under the Angat Buhay program.

The Office of the Vice President partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the community talk, especially for Filipino girls from 10 to 19 years old, to tackle their potentials and the challenges they face, taking note that they would be the country’s leaders and movers and shakers a decade from now.

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“This exercise today is to make you feel that your voices are heard… Our role is to equip you with facilities to help you decide for yourselves,” Robredo told the nearly 100 female high school students.

Pampanga High School hosted the launch on Thursday of Babaenihan, a portmanteau of “babae” and “bayanihan” (Filipino words for “women” and “helping each other,” respectively).

Robredo said that, with the Marcos camp attacking her projects like Angat Buhay, it might be that the former senator could not just understand the programs.

“Everyone is invited to join,” she said. “He might want to look at what we are doing because I am sure anyone who takes a look at it, at what we are doing, would say that there is no politics here. We listen to everyone.”

Robredo added: “My suggestion is, this is the time for us to unite. Instead of fighting each other, instead of just talking politics, let’s just help one another.” /atm

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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, Electoral protest, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Leni Robredo, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Supreme Court
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