Maharlika TV : PET decision on BBM’s poll protest bad precedent, viewed with ‘extreme yellow partiality’ — Rodriguez

News & Interviews
20 April 2021

By Maharlika TV

MANILA — The counsel and spokesman of former senator Bongbong Marcos called the Presidential Electoral Tribunal decision dismissing the electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos a “bad precedent” to future poll protests even as he claims it was decided on “extreme yellow partiality.”

The PET released on Monday (19 April 2021) the full copy of its decision dismissing the electoral protest filed by Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“This is a very bad precedent because, in the future, no one in their right mind would dare question the results of an election. It is an expensive and time-consuming exercise,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez, counsel and spokesperson of the former senator, said Tuesday.

It may be recalled that Marcos and counsel filed a motion in November 9 last year seeking the inhibition of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen from the vice presidential electoral protest, and urging the Supreme Court (SC) to re-raffle the case to a new member-in-charge in an effort to obtain an impartial decision on the poll protest.

Leonen is an appointee of former President Noynoy Aquino.

In filing the motion, Marcos and his lawyer cited Leonen’s actions as leaning toward dismissing the poll protest even before he was appointed officer-in-charge of the case.

Leonen, who is facing an impeachment case before the House of Representatives, also served as former chief peace negotiator of the former chief executive and “given his past pronouncements and previous employment history, one might surmise that the electoral protest would be the perfect venue for him to exact vengeance,” Rodriguez stated on his 21-page motion before that never saw a light of day at the Supreme Court.

In response to the recent Decision of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal [PET] regarding his election protest, Marcos had this to say:

“I read the 92-page Decision penned by (Associate) Justice 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. When asked for their opinion regarding election rules, both the Commission of Election [COMELEC] and the Office of the Solicitor General [OSG] were one in saying: what is important in any election is that the will of the people is paramount.

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.

The PET should do everything in its power to ascertain who really won as Vice President. The truth should not be limited to the existence or nonexistence of the Rules on Annulment because, at the end of the day, it will be the people themselves who will be deprived of ascertaining who the real victor in the 2016 elections was.

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?

So long as there is a ray of hope, I will continue to fight. I owe this to the more than 14 million loyalists who voted for me. I owe this to our youth who will be casting their ballots in 2022.

At the end of the day, the true will of the electorate must prevail,” Marcos said.

Meanwhile, in deciding on the case, the PET claimed “Marcos failed to prove his claims and that his allegations appeared bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations and lacked critical information.” (AI/MTVN)