The camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday bewailed the dismissal of his 3rd cause of action in his electoral protest filed before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, saying “the will of the electorate should prevail over plethora of rules.”
“I read the 92 page Decision penned by (Associate) Justice (Marvic) Leonen and it is unfortunate that he dismissed my election case without even allowing us to present proof about the massive cheating that occurred in Mindanao. In effect, what was supposed to be a separate, distinct and independent cause of action was rejected because of a plethora of rules. Indeed, it is regrettable that the Justice-in-charge viewed the case with extreme partiality through his yellow lenses.”
“The power of PET is plenary. The third cause of action, like annulment, should not pose a problem even in the absence of rules because the will of the electorate is of paramount importance,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos spokesperson, said in a statement.
Rodriguez cited the submissions of the Commission of Election and the Office of the Solicitor General upholding the principle that” the will of the electorate is paramount in every election.”
” The existence or non existence of procedural rules should not be an obstacle in knowing the true will of the people. Rules are just secondary in nature. What is important is the true will of the electorate,” Rodriguez said.
” If the PET was going to dismiss our election protest without hearing all the evidence, then why didn’t it dismiss our third cause of action from day 1? Instead they made us pay 66 million pesos for the protest . . . made us wait for almost 5 years . . . made us believe that the annulment was a separate, distinct and independent cause of action — only to decide the case without affording us due process?” he asked.
On Monday, PET released the full text of its February 16, 2021 decision that unanimously junked Marcos’ election case. It turned out that the tribunal also dismissed his so-called third cause of action – the annulment of election results for vice president in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao.
“There is prima facie showing that protestee would still maintain her lead even if we proceed with the third cause of action,” the PET said in its February decision but a copy of which was only released Monday, April 19, 2021.
“Failure to make out his case through his designated pilot provinces— Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental—protestant (Marcos) cannot now insist on the annulment of the election results in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan. ”
“All told, the third cause of action fails, and is likewise dismissed,” PET said.
The camp of Marcos was insisting that PET only “dismissed his second cause of action, not his third cause of action.