Manila Bulletin – ‘15’

By Jullie Y. Daza | Manila Bulletin

MEDIUM RARE

Once again the Presidential Commission for Good Government (PCGG) has lost an ill-gotten-wealth case against the Marcoses and their cronies, this time the Rustan’s couple, Bienvenido Tantoco and the late Gliceria (Glecy). Litigation took something like 30 years before the Sandiganbayan, with only four witnesses and 11 photocopies (not originals) of documents presented, minus PCGG lawyers who had put on a disappearing act. The court decided there was not enough evidence to convict.

I did not hear or read about the Marcoses cheering (but then I’m not socially connected by social media) although I could imagine one of them, former senator Bongbong Marcos, interpreting the dropping of the P1.2 billion case as a good omen presaging victory in his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo. Twice postponed, announcement of the decision of the 15 justices of the Supreme Court comprising the Presidential Electoral Tribunal won’t be due until the justices say so. Oct. 15, it has been estimated.

Sooner than the 15th or later, what did the TV-savvy Romy Macalintal, speaking for the VP, mean when he stated that whatever PET decides, Ms. Robredo remains VP? Sweet mystery . . . Rallyists holding up placards outside the high court, no less, declared she has the edge with 15,000 votes, figures that are now being quoted as verifiable fact. Was it the “15,000” – what is it about 15? — that prodded Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin to announce that “other justices are considering many other things” than Justice Caguioa’s report on the revision of ballots? Where could such a secret number have been fished out of? DZMM tried to get the Marcos side “to be fair” after chatting with Atty. Macalintal, but Atty. Vic Rodriguez said they would not comment out of respect for the sub judice rule. At the end of the day, “15,000” remains quizzical.

CJ Bersamin said the Court did not feel pressured by the rally, but since the ruling will surely produce “great impact, we have to proceed cautiously.” Atty. Macalintal blamed the Marcos camp for seeking “another deferment,” which is strange, considering the psychology of a petitioner who would desire nothing better than to have the case resolved soonest, instead of working against himself by pleading for further delays.

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