Marcos camp, supporters must accept PET junking of poll protest vs Robredo — Panelo

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Marcos camp, supporters must accept PET junking of poll protest vs Robredo â Panelo
Composite photo shows former senator, and failed vice presidential candidate, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his supporters must accept the Presidential Electoral Tribunal's dismissal of his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Tuesday.

The Marcos camp has falsely claimed that the protest is still ongoing despite the unanimous dismissal by the Supreme Court, sitting as the PET.

But Panelo in a statement released by state-run Philippine News Agency said: "The fact of unanimity of decision by the PET appears to validate VP Robredo’s win on the basis of law and of the evidence presented before it by both parties."

While supporters of Marcos "may disagree with general voters' choice and consider the same as incorrect", they must now "accept the verdict no matter how wrong or unacceptable to them," he added. "That is the rule of majority."

"We have to abide by the precepts of democracy. We cannot be blinded by our personal biases for a particular candidate. That is how democracy works."

In a statement to reporters, Marcos' lawyer Vic Rodriguez said that the tribunal only rejected their second cause of action which covered the recount in Negros Oriental, Iloilo and Camarines Sur, and not their third cause of action which urges the SC to void votes in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.

READ: The Marcoses: A history of rejecting election defeats

But for Panelo, the "Presidential Electoral Tribunal has spoken" and it "behooves everyone to abide by it."

He further emphasized that due process was afforded to both parties and that "the rule of law has prevailed."

"There is always another election to vindicate one’s loss or validate forever one’s rejection by the voting population," Panelo also said.

Asked to comment on the issue, Malacañang on Tuesday said it respects the PET ruling.

However, presidential spokesman Harry Roque during a televised briefing said "we respect also that the camp of [former] Sen. Bongbong Marcos has a further remedy of moving for reconsideration."

SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka declined to comment on whether the decision may be appealed.

Should an appeal be filed, a reversal of the ruling may be difficult as the tribunal was unanimous in its decision.

— with reports from Kristine Joy Patag and Xave Gregorio 

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