Manila Standard - Resolution of Marcos poll protest urged

27 August 2020

By Manila Standard

A group of Filipino workers abroad on Wednesday joined the calls for the Supreme Court to speed up its resolution of the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioning the validity of Vice President Leni Robredo’s proclamation in the 2016 national elections.

Celerino Umandap, chairman of the Advocates and Keepers of OFW or AKO-OFW, said the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, should quickly resolve Marcos’ protest as a show of respect for the sovereign will of the voters.

Umandap said the PET had failed to determine the duly elected vice president in the 2016 elections despite the pendency of the case for four years.

“The PET decision is already long overdue. Once and for all, the Filipino electorates deserve to know who was the duly elected vice president in the 2016 VP race,” Umandap said.

Earlier, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. urged the PET to resolve Marcos’ the poll protest to give way to a smooth transition of power in case something happened to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Abante made the call after administration critics demanded that Malacanang make public Duterte’s state of health, and after he was apparently diagnosed with an illness called “Barrett’s esophagus,” which would be “nearing stage one cancer.”

Abante said the PET’s immediate decision on Marcos’ poll protest was necessary to ensure a smooth transfer of power in case Duterte’s health deteriorated before the end of his term on July 30, 2022.

He expressed concern that a “constitutional problem” might arise should Robredo took over the presidency while the poll protest against her remained unresolved.

Legal experts say that the speedy resolution of the Marcos’ poll protest would solely depend on the strong resolve of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who is in charge of the case, to have the final decision promulgated in earnest and eventually determine who between Marcos and Robredo truly won the vice presidential race four year ago.