Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. filed on Monday a Motion for Reconsideration asking the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to reverse and set aside its Decision dismissing his entire electoral protest and to allow him to present evidence showing massive election fraud, anomalies and other irregularities in his third cause of action that calls for the annulment of election results in the three Mindanao provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.
In a unanimous vote the Tribunal dismissed Marcos’ entire protest against Vice-President Leni Robredo for failure to make a substantial recovery in the three pilot provinces and after finding that the electoral protest was insufficient in form and substance.
Marcos in his motion highlighted the separate opinion of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and incumbent Associate Justice Samuel Gaerlan where both have agreed and stated in no ambivalent terms that the annulment of election results must be allowed to proceed if a complete resolution of the case is to be had.
Peralta also echoed the view of associate justice Gaerlan that the remedy sought for by Marcos is a separate, distinct and independent cause of action not within the ambit of Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules on dismissal which should be limited only on protest seeking for the manual recounting of ballots.
Marcos’ lawyer and spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez explained that “they are pursuing just the annulment of election results and no longer the dismissal of the manual recount for practical consideration and time constraints, considering that the elections are less than a year from now and that the filing of the certificate of candidacy is just five months away or in October of this year”.
Rodriguez said that with the erroneous dismissal of the election case, “the PET effectively deprived Marcos of his basic constitutional right to have his day in court, denied him the opportunity to be fully heard and the right to present both testimonial and documentary evidence relevant to their action seeking the nullification of the results in the three Mindanao provinces”.
In his pleading, the former Senator emphasized that time and again the Tribunal has ruled in his favor that annulment of election results is a separate, distinct and independent cause of action that can and must be allowed to proceed independently from the manual recount and judicial revision of ballots.
Rodriguez said that the PET should not resort to judicial evasion of its solemn duty to exercise judicial power that is to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and must by all means within its command ascertain who truly won as vice-president and remove any doubt as to the real choice of the electorate.
With their motion filed, the Marcos camp is seeking that the Tribunal will rectify its grave mistake, set aside its earlier ruling, reconsider the junking of the entire protest and allow the annulment of election results to proceed independently from the manual recount as a separate, distinct and independent cause of action.