Robredo asks tribunal to junk Marcos’ protest

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    VICE President Leni Robredo has asked the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to dismiss the electoral protest filed by losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. after he failed to show “substantial recovery” or to direct him to present evidence to justify his call for a technical examination in three provinces in Mindanao.

    Marcos earlier said he could easily surpass Robredo’s lead of 263,473 votes in the May 2016 elections because she stands to lose 497,985 votes if the election results in the three pilot provinces — Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo – are recounted.

    Robredo said it was clear Marcos has lost in his electoral protest and it is time for the PET junk it.

    “Plainly speaking, the revision, recount and re-appreciation of the ballots merely confirmed that protestant Marcos lost during the May 9, 2016 election,” Robredo said in a 212-page memorandum dated Dec. 19, 2019.

    Robredo said Marcos has agreed during the preliminary conference of his poll protest that if he cannot show substantial recovery in the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo, his protest will be dismissed.

    The PET ruled last year that after the recount in the three provinces, Robredo’s lead over Marcos in the 2016 elections widened by more than 15,000 votes.

    In the same memorandum, Robredo asked the tribunal to dismiss his third cause of action, saying there was no evidence from the Commission on Elections and other government agencies that terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in Maguindanao, Basilan and Lanao del Norte.

    Marcos, in a memorandum also dated Dec. 19, 2019, asked the PET to “reconsider, review and re-examine the preliminary appreciation conducted on the pilot protested provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental and to uphold and affirm the competence of this Honorable Tribunal to resolve the third cause of action.”

    Marcos said there is a need for the PET to “immediately proceed” with the third cause of action “notwithstanding the pendency of the resolution on the second cause of action.”

    Marcos’ third cause of action seeks the nullification of the results of the 2016 election in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Basilan and Maguindanao on the ground of terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts in the areas.

    Marcos said his third cause of action is a separate, distinct and independent cause of action, the “resolution thereof will not affect the protestee’s counter-protest given that the latter is dependent on the protestant’s second cause of action which is for the judicial revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots.”