By Bernadette E. Tamayo | Journal Online
THE camp of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has asked the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to expedite the resolution of his election protest by scheduling his case for preliminary conference.
Marcos, who ran as vice president in the national elections last May 9, had filed an election protest before the PET questioning the victory of then Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robrero as the second highest leader of the land amid the reported massive poll fraud.
“Today, former Senator Bongbong Marcos presses his quest for truth with the filing of this motion to set the case for preliminary conference,” said lawyer Victor Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesman.
In a four-page ex-parte motion filed by lawyer George Erwin Garcia, Marcos said it is about time the PET issues the notice for preliminary conference since the last pleading joining the issues in his case had been filed and served as early as 9 September 2016.
Under Rule 29 of the 2010 Rules of the PET, the preliminary conference should have been set after the filing of the last pleading.
“Protestant (Marcos) respectfully moves to set the above-entitled case for preliminary conference pursuant to (2010 PET Rules), considering that the last pleading joining the issues in this election protest case had been filed and served as early as 9 September 2016,” the pleading stated.
Rodriguez said that the setting of the preliminary conference is important because it will “set in motion the issues to be resolved, the list of witnesses and the evidence to be presented as well as the schedule of hearings and the revision of the ballots, in his protest.”
“This is important because the preliminary conference will set into motion Sen. Marcos’ election protest so it can finally move forward,” he said.
Rodriguez noted that Marcos’ motion is without prejudice to the resolution of the PET on the two incidents still to be resolved by the court.
There remain two major pending motions that require resolution by the PET, he said. These are the motion to strike out the answer of former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo for being filed out of time which was filed on Sept. 9, 2016 and Marcos’ manifestation with motion to admit attached verification filed on 20 Sept. 20, 2016.
“We want the case to finally move forward so we can finally present our evidence of massive election fraud in the vice presidential race in the last elections,” said Rodriguez.