Manila Bulletin - Marcos accuse Leonen of deliberately delaying resolution of election protest

10 November 2020

By Jeffrey Damicog | Manila Bulletin

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday (Nov. 10) expressed belief that Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen is deliberately delaying the resolution of his election protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

“If Justice Leonen continues to be the justice in charge of my case then it will not be resolved before October of next year when it becomes moot and academic when everybody files their candidacy,” he said during an interview over CNN Philippines.

With this, Marcos defended his decision in filing last Monday, Nov. 9, a motion asking the SC, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to have Leonen inhibit from handling the election protest.

“Therefore our only recourse we can see is that we ask him to inhibit and re-raffle it to another justice,” said the former lawmaker.

Last Sept. 29, Leonen ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to file comments on the election protest, particularly, regarding jurisdiction of the PET and possible declaration of failure of elections.

Marcos lamented that Leonen gave the order after almost a year “without any action whatsoever.”

“He just allowed the case to lie dormant and he did not act upon it,” he said.

Marcos believes that Leonen shouldn’t be asking for comments concerning the PET’s jurisdiction and failure of elections.

“I don’t know why a justice of the Supreme Court would still question the jurisdiction of the PET when PET has been hearing the case for over four years already. If the question of jurisdiction has not yet been settled we wouldn’t be hearing the case and it is impossible for me to think the Supreme Court justice doesn’t know that,” he said.

He also pointed out that “at no point in any of this protest did we talk about failure of elections” and that was “just put in his order was just for delay.”

“There has been a pattern of delay that we see and I attribute this to his bias against me,” Marcos stated.

The former senator cited that Leonen made “many, many pronouncements in the past both in the court and outside, I cannot describe it in any way, his hate for the Marcos family.”

On the other hand, Marcos assured that he has not talked with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) about asking the inhibition of Leonen since the OSG also filed the same motion with similar arguments.

“We have not been in any kind of communication with the Sol Gen’s office,” said Marcos.

The former senator said he does not know how it happened that he and the OSG filed the same motion on the same day.