‘Bong­bong’ Mar­cos poll protest still hangs

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By REY G. PANALIGAN

The Supreme Court (SC), sit­ting as Pres­i­den­tial Elec­toral Tri­bunal (PET), is not ex­pected to re­solve this year the protest and coun­ter­protest filed by for­mer Sen. Fer­di­nand “Bong­bong” Mar­cos Jr. and Vice Pres­i­dent Ma. Leonor “Leni” Ro­bredo in con­nec­tion with the 2016 vice pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Based on its Sept. 29 res­o­lu­tion, the PET still re­quired sev­eral plead­ings and doc­u­ments not only from Mar­cos and Ro­bredo but also from the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) and the Office of the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral (OSG).

In a unan­i­mous vote of 12 jus­tices, with two of the 14 in­cum­bent mag­is­trates on leave, the PET de­cided to fur­nish the Com­elec and the OSG with its Oct. 15, 2019 res­o­lu­tion that was is­sued af­ter the ter­mi­na­tion of the re­count and re­vi­sion of bal­lots in the prov­inces of

Ca­marines Sur, Iloilo, and Ne­gros Ori­en­tal.

The three prov­inces were named by Mar­cos as his pi­lot ar­eas in his elec­tion protest filed in June, 2016. Ro­bredo filed a counter-protest. The two cases were con­sol­i­dated by the PET.

Among other is­sues, the Oct. 15, 2019 PET res­o­lu­tion stated: “Thus, based on the fi­nal tally af­ter re­vi­sion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the votes in the pi­lot prov­inces, protes­tee Ro­bredo main­tained, as in fact she in­creased her lead with 14,436,337 votes over protes­tant Mar­cos who ob­tained 14,157,771 votes. Af­ter the re­vi­sion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion, the lead of protes­tee Ro­bredo in­creased from 263,473 to 278,566.”

In the same res­o­lu­tion, the PET di­rected both Mar­cos and Ro­bredo to file their re­spec­tive mem­o­ran­dum.

Mar­cos’ protest has three causes of ac­tion – an­nul­ment of the procla­ma­tion of Ro­bredo; re­count and re­vi­sion of bal­lots in 36,465 protested clus­tered precincts; and an­nul­ment of elec­tion re­sults for vice pres­i­dent in the prov­inces of Maguin­danao, Lanao del Sur, and Basi­lan on the ground of al­leged ter­ror­ism; in­tim­i­da­tion and ha­rass­ment of vot­ers as well as pre-shad­ing of bal­lots in all of the 2,756 protested clus­tered precincts.

The SC Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Office (PIO) said that in its Sept. 29, 2020 res­o­lu­tion, the PET di­rected the Com­elec to re­port to the tri­bunal “if pe­ti­tions for fail­ure or elec­tions were filed in the prov­inces of Lanao del Sur, Basi­lan, and Maguin­danao; the cor­re­spond­ing res­o­lu­tions to the said pe­ti­tions (if granted or de­nied); whether spe­cial elec­tions were held in ar­eas de­clared to have had a fail­ure of elec­tions in the said prov­inces; and the re­sults of the spe­cial elec­tions.”

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