Mar urged to withdraw poll protest vs Binay
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II has been urged to withdraw his electoral protest against Vice President Jejomar Binay over the 2010 vice presidential race.

Election lawyers Sixto Brillantes and Romulo Macalintal said Roxas should no longer pursue the case since the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) is unikely to resolve it with eight months left in Binay’s term of office.

Roxas had filed a poll protest, questioning the proclamation of Binay as winner in the 2010 vice presidential race.

According to Macalintal, Roxas should withdraw the case to allow the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to utilize in the May 2016 polls some 1,000 ballot boxes containing election returns involved in the protest.

“The Comelec can save a lot of money if it can use those ballot boxes. I think it’s about time Roxas should accept defeat (in the 2010 elections) since it’s already moot and academic and PET can no longer resolve the case,” Macalintal said.

Citing the election protest filed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago against former President Fidel Ramos with the PET, Macalintal said there is a Supreme Court (SC) jurisprudence that considers Roxas to have abandoned the case when he filed his certificate of candidacy for president.

The SC ruled in February 1996 that in assuming the office of senator, Santiago had “effectively abandoned or withdrawn the protest.”

Santiago ran and won a Senate seat in the 1995 elections after losing to Ramos in the 1992 presidential race.

Brillantes, a former Comelec chief, did not associate Roxas’ case with that of Santiago.

He said the SC ruling on Santiago does not apply to Roxas since it came out at a time when an elected official with an unfinished term is considered to have given up the position when he seeks higher elective post.

“It’s different but still, out of delicadeza, he should withdraw the case,” Brillantes said.

For his part, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista refused to comment on Roxas’ poll protest.

ACIRC BINAY BRILLANTES COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA LIBERAL PARTY MACALINTAL MANUEL ROXAS MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS ROXAS
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