Leni to SC: Donât change rules in VP protest
Robredo’s lawyers filed a 23-page manifestation asking the PET to uphold the rules in resolving the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
Leni to SC: Don’t change rules in VP protest
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), not to change the rules on the proceedings of the electoral protest as they are now in the middle of the process.

Robredo’s lawyers filed a 23-page manifestation asking the PET to uphold the rules in resolving the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

“The Vice President still has the highest respect to the high tribunal that the rules will not be changed in the middle of the game,” the lawyers said.

The camp of Robredo referred to the PET’s Rule 65, which covers regulations on “dismissal when proper,” wherein the PET may require the protestant or counter-protestant to indicate within a fixed period one to three provinces where the alleged poll fraud occurred.

“These provinces constitute ‘test cases’ by which the tribunal determines whether it would proceed with the case – retrieve and revise the ballots in all remaining protested clustered precincts – or dismiss the protest for failure of the protestant to make out his case,” Robredo’s camp said.

Unconfirmed reports said Robredo gained additional 15,000 votes after the revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots in the provinces of Iloilo, Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental. 

Her lawyers said the Marcos camp raised to three from two the causes of action it originally pointed out.

“We would like to clarify and based on our pleadings submitted to the Supreme Court that there is no such thing as a third cause of action,” Robredo’s lead counsel Romy Macalintal said. 

The first cause of action that the Marcos camp cited questioned the proclamation of Robredo as the duly elected vice president.

The Marcos camp said the certificates of canvass generated by the consolidation and canvass system were not authentic and may not be used as basis to determine the number of votes that the candidates for vice president received.

The PET has dismissed this cause of action.

The scope of the second cause covered the annulment of election results in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan as well as the judicial recount and revision of ballots in 30 other provinces. 

The Marcos camp reportedly split the second cause of action into two – annullment of election results in three Mindanao provinces and recount in 30 provinces. 

Macalintal said the third cause of action was not mentioned in the election protest. Marcos reportedly only introduced the third cause of action late last year.

Macalintal said that in the event that the PET would rule Robredo’s victory in the recount but will proceed with the annullment of votes, it would still not be a win for them and they would file a motion for reconsideration. 

Meanwhile, Marcos’ spokesman Vic Rodriguez said they treated Robredo’s manifestation as an affirmation of what the former senator demanded for her and the chairman of the election protest to observe, which is respect for the rule of the PET.

Rodriguez said Rule 3 of the PET calls for a liberal interpretation in order to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every contest filed before it. 


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