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The Manila Times : Marcos appeals PET decision on poll protest

News & Interviews
12 May 2021

By Jomar Canlas | The Manila Times

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to reconsider its decision on the poll protest case he filed against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, saying his electoral protest must be concluded until the end.

He argued the PET was divided on the voting and did not thoroughly take the side of the ponente, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Then Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta objected to Leonen’s view that the case must be dismissed outright since the third cause of action — the annulment of elections in Basilan, Lanao Del Sur and Maguindanao — is a separate action that can stand on its own.

“The absence of a specific rule should not dissuade the tribunal from taking cognizance and giving due course to contests praying for the annulment of election results,” Peralta said.

“This Court has consistently recognized the existence of annulment of elections as a remedy available to a losing candidate if it be alleged an election is tainted with irregularities and frauds so numerous and so undeniably characteristic of an intention to defraud and defeat the true expression of the will of the electorate,” he said.

“This is what we are fighting for. And this is what we will continue to fight for,” Marcos said in his appeal.

“We owe it to the more than 14 Filipinos who voted for Bongbong Marcos and more so to the millions more whose votes went missing, to pursue this fight to the very end. When all is said and done, the true will of the electorate should be heard.”

In the 92-page decision last February, the PET unanimously ruled to dismiss the election protest of Marcos.

The former senator pointed out the Office of the Solicitor General and the Commission on Elections took the side of Marcos that annulment of elections can still be ruled, since it is independent with the second cause of action — the revision of ballots in three pilot provinces — Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo.