Journal Online - PET junks Leni’s ‘gameover’ petition

17 July 2019

By Journal Online

THE Supreme Court of the Philippines sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in a resolution dated July 2, 2019, has junked the urgent motion of Leni Robredo asking the court to resolve the pending election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr due to prematurity.

An official copy of the PET resolution received by Marcos’ camp states,“…the Tribunal has yet to complete the proceedings following Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules, which entail judicial recount, revision and appreciation of the votes cast in the protestant’s pilot provinces. The figures submitted by protestee are merely speculative. In arriving at the figures, protestee presumes that all her claims will be admitted by the Tribunal. This premise is fundamentally flawed as the Tribunal is still in the process of appreciation of the revised ballot and ruling on the respective objections and claims made by the parties thereon. The Tribunal’s final tally of votes after recount and appreciation has yet to be completed and released.”

“We are very pleased with this development. The PET has finally put an end to Robredo’s fallacious claim of victory despite the fact that the entire process had not yet concluded. She should stop misleading the public with her impetuous pronouncements. We are confident that in the end, it will be former senator Marcos who will be proclaimed,” said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr.

On June 11, 2019, Robredo through her legal counsel Atty. Romulo Macalintal sought the immediate resolution of the election protest. Claiming that based on the revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots from the three pilot provinces chosen by the former senator Marcos, she gained as much as 15,000 votes.

“Robredo should respect the rules set by the PET and refrain from engaging in mind-condition tactics. The PET has explained to both sides that ‘recovery’ in protest lingo means that the protestant (Marcos) is able to prove that his protest has merits to push through based on the appreciation of the Tribunal. It is only the Tribunal who will decide whether the protest will proceed and the verdict will be based on the results of the appreciation stage where revised and recounted ballots are reviewed,” added Atty. Rodriguez.

The recent PET resolution also took notice of Robredo’s “computations,” “In protestee’s Motion, she prays that the Tribunal immediately resolve all pending incidents after the revision and recount of the ballots. Protestee presented her own computation of the total national votes for protestant and protestee ‘after revision, recount, and re-appreciation,’ claiming that her victory as Vice President has been confirmed. In effect, what protestee seeks is the immediate resolution of the instant protest. Protestee’s Motion is likewise premature,”

The same resolution also directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to submit a comment to Marcos’ consolidated reply questioning the non-chronological sequencing of ballot images and excess ballot images from Camarines Sur. It also asked the Comelec and the Board of Election Inspectors of several clustered precincts from Camarines Sur and Iloilo to explain the absence of ballot images in their jurisdictions.

The resolution also deferred action on Marcos’ urgent motion calling for the technical examination of election documents from the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao pending the conclusion of the appreciation of ballots. “The Tribunal believes, and so holds, the protestant’s motions with respect to the conduct of technical examination on his third cause of action are premature because the proceedings under Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules have not yet concluded…” it said.