‘Whatever the result of recount in 3 areas, Leni stays as VP’

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    VICE President Leni Robredo will remain in her post whatever the ruling of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who lost by a narrow margin to Robredo in the 2016 national elections.

    Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, the lead counsel of Robredo, said this is because the Supreme Court, sitting as the PET, will only rule on the initial recount in the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental where Marcos claimed he can prove irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 polls.

    The PET deferred its decision on the issue last Tuesday and court insiders said the magistrates may deliberate and rule on the case this Tuesday, Oct. 8, during their regular en banc session.

    “Whatever will be the forthcoming decision of the PET, Vice President Leni remains as Vice President. If the PET says that Mr. Marcos has made a substantial recovery, then it will rule that the electoral protest will continue. In which case Vice President Robredo remains as Vice President pending the recount of ballots or returns from the 22 provinces and five highly urbanized cities,” Macalintal explained in a statement yesterday.

    Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa has already submitted his report on the initial recount to the en banc. Caguioa is the justice in charge or ponente of the case.

    Marcos had earlier asked the Tribunal to proceed with the investigation of ballots in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan but the magistrates denied his plea, saying it could not do so without resolving the issue in the pilot provinces as mandated under Rule 65 of the PET Rules.