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Maharlika TV - BBM VP proclamation looms?

News & Interviews
3 November 2020

By Junex Doronio | Maharlika TV

THE SUSPENSE CONTINUES as Vice President Leni Robredo could be unseated by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. if the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, annuls the election returns from three Mindanao provinces following the comment of the Office of the Solicitor General.

Robredo only garnered a total of 477,985 votes in Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao against Marcos’ 169,160 votes. If these are nullified, Robredo’s slim lead in the national count would be wiped out and Marcos would lead by 45,352 votes.

“Panalo naman talaga si BBM at mapapatunayan iyon pag na-nullify ng PET ang Mindanao votes,” businessman Ric Chan, a stalwart of Alyansang Duterte Bongbong (AlDuB), said.

In its 38-page comment, the OSG cited Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution that the PET “shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President and may promulgate rules for the purpose.”

“The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has the power to declare the Annulment of Elections or a Failure of Elections without infringing upon the authority of the Commission on Elections (Comelec),” the comment, signed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, stated.

The OSG pointed out that the PET was within its authority to declare an annulment of elections or a failure of elections.

It added that what the PET cannot do is conduct special elections, which infringes on the authority of Comelec.

A failure of elections must be declared before any poll winner is proclaimed, an annulment of elections must be declared after an electoral contest and during election protests, the OSG clarified.

The OSG further noted that in Marcos’ case, “it is indubitable that even if the votes cast in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan are declared null and void, there is no failure to elect to speak of. On the contrary the ultimate winner, or the one with the majority (or plurality) of the valid votes cast, is easily determinable,” the OSG said.

The case has been pending before the PET for more than four years, having been filed by Marcos on June 29, 2016.

In her memorandum, Robredo asked the PET to dismiss the protest.

Supreme Court Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, the ponente of the case, wanted a comment from OSG before the tribunal moved ahead.

In her memorandum, Robredo asked the PET to dismiss the protest.