Bersamin on poll protest: ‘I wanted to delay the vote’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 17, 2019   •   279

Chief of Justice Lucas Bersamin speaks during a press conference at the Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines, 28 November 2018. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin said he wanted to delay the vote on former senator Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest in order prevent speculations that the result was orchestrated.

“I wanted to delay the vote because I did not like to take part in it, because I did not like the public, like the media, speculating that I cooked or orchestrated the result,” he said on Wednesday (October 16).

The Supreme Court still has not resolved Marcos’ electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Despite wanting to delay the vote, Bersamin assured there will be no anomalies in the recount results.

“Hindi pwedeng magluto dito sa Supreme Court dahil ang daming involved, (We cannot fabricate here in the Supreme Court because there are a lot of [people] involved)” he said.

However, according to Marcos’ party, Bersamin may have wanted to avoid any issues that will taint his integrity.

“Maybe, he wants to avoid any accusation of impropriety or midnight decision that will taint his unblemished record of integrity,” according to Macros’ lawyer Atty. George Garcia.

Meanwhile, Bersamin is set to retire as Chief Justice on Friday (October 18).—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

Minority senators oppose PET ruling on Marcos electoral protest

Marje Pelayo   •   October 16, 2019

(L-R) Former senator Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Minority Senators Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Kiko Pangilinan expressed strong opposition to the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on the electoral protest filed by former senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a statement, members of the Senate minority stressed that the case should be dismissed citing the progress of the recount which they said obviously revealed the victory of Robredo against Marcos in the 2016 Vice Presidential election.

“Isinagawa ang recount. Ang resulta: Lalo pang lumaki ang lamang ni VP Leni sa mga lugar na sinasabi ni Ginoong Marcos na dinaya siya, imbes na makitang bumaliktad ang resulta at mapatunayan ang kanyang paratang, lalo pang lumitaw ang katotohanan: Panalo si VP Leni,” the senators argued.

The opposition senators accused the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), of breaking its own rules for not acting appropriately on the matter.

“Ang dapat mangyari ngayon: I-dismiss na ang kaso. Tantanan na ang kasinungalingan. Tanggapin na ang katotohanang si Leni Robredo ang Pangalawang Pangulo ng bansa,” the statement said.

“Ngunit ang mangyayari ngayon, sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema: Pinapakomento ang dalawang panig sa isa pang petisyon ni Ginoong Marcos.” It added.

The minority senators sided with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio whose dissenting opinion stated that it was Robredo who received the most number of votes in the three areas personally picked by Marcos — Negros Oriental, Iloilo, and Camarines Sur — where he claimed his votes were rigged.

On Tuesday (October 15), the SC ruled to release the result of the recount in three provinces concerned in Marcos’ poll protest.

The SC asked Robredo and Marcos to submit their comments on the results which they need to submit “within a period of 20 days from receipt of the notice” as announced by SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Malacañang said it will respect SC ruling on Marcos electoral protest

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it will abide by whatever the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“Whatever the decision of the court, we should abide by it,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

In 2016, Marcos accused Robredo of “massive cheating” in the 2016 elections.

He lost to Robredo by some 260,000 votes, but Robredo’s camp said her lead over Marcos grew by 15,000 votes after the initial recount.

On Tuesday (October 14), the PET ordered the release of a report on the initial recount of votes.

“Hayaan ninyo na sila (Let them be). We’ll just wait and let the parties argue their case in court and PET will have to render its decision,” he added. – MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Comelec junks poll protest vs Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2019

Former Pasig City Mayor Bobby Eusebio (left) and incumbent Mayor Vico Sotto (right)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the poll protest of former Pasig Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio against incumbent mayor Vico Sotto.

Based on the decision of Comelec 2nd Division promulgated last August 30, the said protest is “insufficient in form and substance.”

“Protestant failed to provide a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts as required by Section 7(g) Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution no. 8804,” the decision states.

The Comelec 2nd Division said Eusebio’s party was not able to provide enough evidence that there was an anomaly during the Pasig City mayoral race last May.

READ: Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Sotto had 86,500 more votes than Eusebio, ending his 37-year reign as the mayor of Pasig City.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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