Manila Standard - Marcos wants SC magistrate to inhibit self

9 November 2020

By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard

Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Sunday he will move for the immediate inhibition of Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen from his case due to the latter's alleged “brazen display of gross ignorance of the law.”

He claims Leonen jeopardizes his election protest that seeks to nullify the proclamation of Leni Robredo as the elected vice president in the 2016 polls.

Warning of an imminent threat of a miscarriage of justice, Marcos decided to file a motion seeking Leonen’s inhibition from further handling his poll protest, claiming he was extremely biased against him, a source said.

Marcos’ decision came after the Office of the Solicitor General and the Commission on Elections asserted before the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, that it was “empowered to declare the annulment of elections without special elections”.

This also came after Leonen tossed the case back to the OSG and the Comelec to inquire on the issue of the tribunal’s jurisdiction after hearing Marcos’ case for almost five years.

Marcos earlier said the decision of Leonen, the justice-in-charge of his election protest, would only further delay the resolution of his case that, he said, was in danger of becoming moot and academic due to the very limited time left in the term of office of the contested position.

The source from the Marcos camp also said the former senator was convinced that, for as long as a “yellow man” was in charge of his case, he would not get a fair and impartial treatment considering the open expression of Leonen’s alleged extreme bias against him and his family.

Marcos is said to be poised to lead by more or less 45,000 votes if the results for the three provinces in Mindanao were annulled by the PET due to alleged various election-related frauds, such as massive substituted voting.

Marcos lawyer and spokesman Vic Rodriguez earlier said they would move for the immediate proclamation of Marcos when they had successfully presented their third cause of action calling for the annulment of the results of the 2016 election for vice-president in Lanao Del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.

“The audacious display of [Leonen’s ignorance, real or feigned, betrayed much of his unfitness to be part of an all elite Court traditionally reserved for the most erudite members of the legal profession,” Rodriguez said.