FILE PHOTO: Former Senator Bongbong Marcos
MANILA, Philippines — The resolution issued recently by the Supreme Court (SC) is a partial victory for the camp of former senator Bongbong Marcos in his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
The SC sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) that exercises jurisdiction over protests relating to presidential and vice presidential elections.
In its resolution, the SC allowed the protest to proceed and gave Marcos opportunity to prove his case.
His lawyer, Atty. George Erwin Garcia, now wants the high court to set the case for preliminary conference and start hearing the protest.
“What is important here is the case was not dismissed. This will proceed. We won the first battle,” said Atty. Garcia.
He also said the protest will proceed even if Marcos accepts a position in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet.
Atty. Garcia said, there had been instances in the past of protestants running for other positions. He cited the case of the late Sen. Miriam Santiago who filed a protest after losing in the presidential elections then ran for the Senate and assumed office when she won.
“The Supreme Court ruled, that is an abandonment of her election protest. But it is a different case for Marcos, because [if ever] he will accept a Cabinet position, which is appointive not elective, and therefore, that doesn’t mean he is abandoning his protest,” he said.
Meanwhile, Robledo’s camp intends to appeal the SC resolution to clarify some details and issues.
“There were issues that need to be resolved first, for example, it was not clear which municipalities will have the ballots reopened and which will not and will only have annulment [of votes],” said Atty. Romulo Macalintal, lawyer for Robredo
Marcos’ lawyer raises no issues with this but says it would be better if the case is resolved the soonest to end questions on the legitimacy of Robledo’s victory last elections.
“It would be better if the case will proceed unhindered because they are claiming that we don’t have evidence. They claim that maybe not everything we are saying were true. So it would be better if we are allowed to present our evidence and prove our case and that will only happen in the absence of their dilatory tactics,” he said. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News and Rescue