THE Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party and several youth groups yesterday urged the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to junk with finality the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a one-page letter addressed to the justices, Akbayan chair Etta Rosales said Marcos’ failure to get substantial recovery of votes in the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo in a vote recount is more than enough reason to dismiss his electoral protest.
“Based on the rules on election protests set by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, this case is already ripe for a decision. The rules clearly state that for Marcos’ protest to prosper and expand to other provinces, he should get substantial recovery from the three provinces that he had identified-Iloilo Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental. The dictator’s son failed to do this, based on the results of the recount,” the letter said.
Aside from Rosales, also signing the letter are Raymond John Naguit, chair of Akbayan Youth; John Anthony Jacob, convenor of Youth Resist; Rafaela Mae David, executive director Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking; and Merylhilda Jalani, president of Millennials PH.
The PET ruled last year that after the recount in the pilot provinces, Robredo’s lead over Marcos has widened by at least 15,000 votes.
But the Tribunal allowed the electoral protest to proceed based on another cause of action naming the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan.
The Marcos camp sought to annul the results of the election in those provinces, saying the 2016 polls in those area were attended by terrorism, intimidation, harassment and pre-shading of ballots.
Marcos said he could have easily surpassed Robredo’s lead of 263,473 votes because she stands to lose 497,985 votes if the election in the said provinces were annulled.
But Robredo’s camp said the case should have been dismissed as Marcos failed to show substantial recovery or even evidence to justify his call for the technical examination of the ballots from the Mindanao provinces or his call to annul the results of the elections.
Robredo also said that Marcos has agreed during the preliminary conference of his case that if he cannot show substantial recovery in Iloilo, Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, his protest will be dismissed.
Akbayan and the youth groups said there is no more reason for the Tribunal to keep thee electoral protest going.