The camp of former Senator and losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed a pleading before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to continue looking into his protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, particularly the election results in three provinces in Mindanao.
The plea was stated in the 96-page motion for reconsideration of the PET’s decision issued last February which dismissed Marcos entire election protest.
The petition was filed by Marcos lawyer George Erwin Garcia asking the Court to form a special committee to conduct hearings, receive evidence and access the evidence for his third cause of action which seeks to annul the election results in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan.
The Court is also asked to direct the Commission on Elections (Comelec) handwriting experts to conduct the technical examination of the voters’ signatures appearing on the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDCVL) as against the voters’ signatures appearing on the Voters Registration Records in the said three provinces.
“Because of protestant’s constitutional right to be heard, it is well-settled that between this constitutional right and the rigid and inflexible adherence by this Court to the wordings of the Rules of Court (on the non-existence of procedural rules), the conclusion should have been to give greater accord to the constitutional intent to give the parties all possible avenues to prove their case,” Marcos said.
The ruling of the PET held that Marcos’ election protest appeared “bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations, and lack information as to the time, place and manner” of the alleged irregularities.
The pilot provinces on the other hand identified by Marcos in his election protest are Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Vice President Leni Robredo’s home province Camarines Sur.
But PET said the petitioner failed to make out his case after the revision and appreciation of votes in the 5,415 clustered precincts, showed Marcos got 14,36,337 while the protestee Robredo received 14,157,771. This showed that Robredo even increased her lead over Marcos from 263,473 votes to 278,566 votes in these three provinces.
Despite this, the PET granted the parties another opportunity to be heard on whether it should proceed with the case “in the interest of due process.”
In fact, the PET said it could have dismissed the electoral protest under Rule 21 of their rules, but they decided to “painstakingly” hear every argument to afford due process to the parties.
Failing to prove his case through his designated pilot areas, the PET said Marcos cannot insist on the annulment of the election results in the three provinces in Mindanao.
The PET said the Rules direct the immediate dismissal of the election protest without further consideration of the other provinces.
Nevertheless, the tribunal noted that for a full disposition of the election protest, it extensively scrutinized Marco’s allegations and assessed evidence he presented to support his claims under the third cause of action.