By PNA | Daily Tribune
The camp of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the legal team of Vice President Leni Robredo is resorting to delaying tactics as it intends to file a motion for reconsideration (MR) on the decision of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on the former’s electoral protest.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, spokesman for Marcos, noted that the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as PET already ruled against the issue pointed out by the Vice President.
“Despite the tribunal’s ruling that this issue was already ‘beyond dispute,’ Robredo’s legal team is still looking for ways to delay the proceedings,” he said in a statement.
“If Robredo has nothing to hide, why resort to all these delaying tactics? It’s not enough that her camp cheated its way to the vice presidency. Now they want to cheat again by depriving Senator Marcos of his day in court. We want the truth to come out. That’s all,” Rodriguez stressed.
But the lawyer noted that it is expected for the camp of the Vice President to appeal the SC ruling.
“We are not surprised by the pronouncement of Leni Robredo’s counsel that they will appeal the recent PET decision which found former Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ election protest to be sufficient in form and substance,” he said.
“Their actions on the protest have been consistent: they are afraid of the truth because it would reveal how much they tarnished and debased the true will of the Filipino people in the vice presidential race,” Rodriguez added.
The Marcos camp had already asked the PET to expedite the resolution of the former senator’s election protest by setting a preliminary conference.
It stressed said the preliminary conference is important because it will set in motion the issues to be resolved, the list of witnesses and the evidence to be presented as well as the schedule of hearings and the revision of the ballots, in his protest.
Last month, the PET affirmed its earlier resolution finding the former senator’s election protest to be sufficient in form and substance.
The January 24, 2017 ruling denied the motion filed by the former Camarines Sur representative to conduct a preliminary hearing on his election protest and eventually dismiss the same for lack of jurisdiction.
“On the matter of the sufficiency of the protest, the same (is) already beyond dispute. With the issuance of the summons, the tribunal has found the protest to be sufficient in form and substance. The protest contained narrations of ultimate facts on the alleged irregularities and anomalies in the contested clustered precincts, which the protestant needs to prove in due time,” part of the eight-page resolution stated.
The SC also countered Robredo’s claim that the PET should not decide on the case for “lack of jurisdiction” and that the issue should have been raised before Congress acting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
“Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, in relation to Rule 13 of the 2010 PET Rules, provides that the tribunal shall be the sole judge of all elections contests relating to the election, returns, and disqualifications of the President or Vice President of the Philippines,” PET said.
In his election protest, Marcos urged the PET to nullify the proclamation of Robredo as duly elected vice president of the country as this was a result of massive electoral fraud committed to ensure her victory.
In the May 2016, Robredo won the vice presidency after receiving 14,418,817 votes over Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.