EDITORIAL - Crawling along
EDITORIAL - Crawling along
(The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2020 - 12:00am

Based on what his Cabinet members have admitted was wrong information, President Duterte spent much of his national address on Tuesday night lambasting Vice President Leni Robredo for supposedly asking where he was at the height of Typhoon Ulysses.

Robredo shrugged off the tirade, saying it was not the first time that she was on the receiving end of the President’s ire based on what she described as “fake news.” The calamity, she said, calls for a united response, and she would continue bringing aid from her office to those in need.

In his late-night harangue, the President warned he could be Robredo’s “nightmare” if she sought to replace him in the 2022 elections. By the time the campaign rolls around, let’s hope the electoral protest challenging Robredo’s victory would have already been resolved.

The case, filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is crawling along at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The Supreme Court, sitting as the PET, this week threw out Marcos’ petition for the inhibition of SC Associate Justice Marvic Leonen from the protest case. A similar petition was filed by one of Marcos’ campaign managers, Solicitor General Jose Calida.

With this petition out of the way, the PET should speed up the resolution of this four-year-old case. The country’s judicial system is seen as one of the slowest in the world. To speed up adjudication, the SC has given lower courts timelines for the resolution of cases. The high tribunal should serve as the model for the judiciary.

The glacial pace of resolving electoral protests is unfair to both parties. A legitimate winner who occupies the post will have his or her mandate under a cloud of doubt until the victory is affirmed by the electoral tribunal. If the victory is invalidated, it robs the real winner of his or her mandate – and the loss can be irretrievable if the protest is resolved after the term has been served. Such situations are not uncommon in this country, and they have encouraged poll fraud. With just a year and a half to go before the general elections, it’s time to resolve the protest over the vice presidential race.

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