Robredo lawyers emphasize PET rules in new pleading
Elections lawyer Romulo Macalintal is Vice President Leni Robredo's lead counsel in the poll protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
News5/Dale De Vera
Robredo lawyers emphasize PET rules in new pleading
Kristine Joy Patag ( - October 14, 2019 - 2:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — A day before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is set to meet and possibly vote on issues on former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s poll protest, lawyers for Vice President Leni Robredo asked magistrates to uphold the tribunal's own rules.

Lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Bernadatte Sardillo filed Monday a Manifestation noting that rumors have been spreading that the PET will proceed with technical examination of election results in Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

The lawyers said that, according to the rumors, the tribunal will proceed with the technical examination of Mindanao provinces—Marcos’s third cause of action—regardless of the determination of whether there was substantial recovery in the initial recount remaining pending.

READ: Marcos poll protest can't be manipulated, Chief Justice Bersamin assures public

“Clearly, the issue on whether the [election protest] can proceed will hinge on whether protestant Marcos was able to show substantial recovery in his pilot precincts,” the manifestation said.

The pleading was filed a day before the justices of the tribunal are set to meet for a full court session, where the poll protest is among the cases included in the meeting’s agenda.

Ruling on plea for technical examination deferred

They argued that the tribunal, in a resolution dated July 2, 2019, deferred ruling on Marcos’ plea for technical examination citing Rule 65 of the PET Rules.

The PET was then acting on Marcos' December 2018 plea asking the tribunal to subpoena documents in an unrelated protest filed by Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao gubernatorial candidate Sakur Tan.

They claimed that their motion is connected to their third cause of action which, seeks annulment of the election results for the vice presidential post in Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

Robredo’s lawyers quoted the July 2019 ruling: “Rule 65 allows the Tribunal to conduct a revision of ballots and reception of evidence on the designated pilot provinces first, and on such basis, dismiss the protest if it finds that the protestant will most probably faill to make out his case.”

In their latest pleading, they stressed: “In plain terms, should protestant Marcos fail to make any substantial recovery in his pilot provinces, the [election protest] will be dismissed.”

 “Without any evidence, no matter how loud the cry of cheating may be, this election protest must be dismissed,” the pleading further read.

Marcos spokesperson: Robredo's plea is what we have long demanded from PET

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesperson, for his part said that Robredo’s latest manifestation to the tribunal affirms what the Marcos “has long demanded for her and the Chairman of the Election Protest to observe.”

In a statement sent to reporters, Rodriguez noted that Rule 3 of the PET calls for a “just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of any contest before it.”

Rodriguez continued to hit Caguioa for past rulings, including their supposed outing between PET head revisors and Robredo’s watchers.

He also lamented that three years have passed but the tribunal has yet to move past the recount of ballots in the three pilot provinces. 

Last Friday, SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka reminded the two parties on court rules of sub judice which prohibit parties from giving public remarks on pending cases.

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