Marcos wants Leonen to inhibit from poll protest vs Robredo

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2020   •   249

MANILA, Philippines — Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos is asking Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to inhibit from the hearing of his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The Marcos camp claimed that Justice Leonen had shown his prejudices against the said election protest.

Marcos said Leonen, the justice-in-charge on the case, had been one of those who had been against the burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He is also an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III whose family is known as a political rival of the Marcoses.

Marcos claims that Leonen has been dragging the case with his inaction.

“Justice Leonen has prejudged this case. He’s hostile to me and to our entire group if you may call that. And we see some instances where he expressed an opinion against the Marcoses. Me, in particular, and the Marcoses, in general,” the former senator said.

He also alleged that Justice Leonen had been delaying the proceedings of the case by asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office of the Solicitor-General on whether the high court has jurisdiction on the case.

“Naging maliwanag sa akin ang dahilan kung bakit niya hiningan ng comment ay magdelay ulit at imposible para sa akin na hindi niya nalalaman. Isang justice ng Supreme Court, hindi nalalaman ang batas tungkol diyan? Hihingi tungkol sa jurisdiction?” he said.

Aside from Leonen’s inhibition, the Marcos camp also wants to have the election protest raffled off again and for the court to arrive at a resolution for all the pending details on the said protest.

Among these is the nullification of the votes in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao due to the reported harassment of voters and alleged preshading of ballots.

Marcos personally went to the Supreme Court on Monday morning (November 9) with his lawyers, Atty George Erwin Garcia and Atty. Vic Rodriguez who is also his spokesperson.

Marcos hopes that, with Leonen’s inhibition, the case will proceed accordingly and will be immediately resolved.

“Pag wala na si Justice Leonen kung mag-inhibit siya may pag-asa na hindi na madelay; may pag-asa matatapos in time. Pag si Justice ang nakaupo, in charge diyan, sa aking pananaw, imposibleng matatapos ito in time. Pipilitin niya ipupwersa abutin ang filing para maging moot and academic.  Eleven months walang ginawa walang sinulat walang inilabas na desisyon,” he claimed. — (from the report of Dante Amento) /mbmf

Duterte admin not involved in impeach rap vs Leonen – Roque

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday distanced itself from an impeachment complaint filed against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen before the House of Representatives.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is not involved in the move and did not endorse the complaint.

“Wala pong kinalaman diyan. We don’t even know who the proponents are,” Roque said in a televised press briefing.

The impeachment rap against Leonen was lodged by one Edwin Cordevilla of a group called the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government.

Cordevilla accused Leonen of committing “culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust,” and slow case disposition.

He also accused Leonen of failing to file his statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) during his tenure at the University of the Philippines, as required by law.

Cordevilla filed the complaint with the assistance and representation of lawyer Larry Gadon. It was endorsed by Ilocos Norte Representative Angelo Marcor Barba, cousin of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Leonen said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint but he expressed confidence that House lawmakers will “do the right thing” and will not entertain “false issues raised by some clearly personal or vindictive reasons.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Leonen ‘confident’ House solons to ‘do right thing’ on impeach bid

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Monday expressed confidence that members of the House of Representatives will “do the right thing” on the impeachment complaint filed against him.

Leonen issued the statement after an impeachment rap was filed before the lower House by one Edwin Cordevilla of a group called the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government.

Cordevilla accused Leonen of committing “culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust,” and slow case disposition.

Leonen said he has received information about the complaint but has yet to receive a copy of it.

“Given the urgent and pressing needs of our people during the time of crises, we are confident that our leaders will do the right thing,” the justice said.

“Certainly, this may not be to attend to false issues raised by some clearly personal or vindictive reasons,” he added.

Cordevilla filed the complaint with the assistance and representation of lawyer Larry Gadon.

The complaint against Leonen was endorsed by Ilocos Norte Representative Angelo Marcor Barba, cousin of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Regardless, we wish everyone the best for this season of kindness and compassion. May we all continue to help others who are still truly in need,” Leonen said.

PET orders Comelec, SolGen to comment on Robredo-Marcos poll protest

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the bid of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to nullify the election results in three provinces in Mindanao.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the PET ordered the Comelec to submit in 20 days its comment on issues related to annulment of elections in connection with Marcos’ third cause of action in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, which is the annulment of election results in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao due to alleged terrorism, intimidation, voter harassment and pre-shading of ballots.

The tribunal also directed the poll body and the OSG to comment on whether the PET has the power to declare the annulment of elections without special elections; and the failure of elections and order the conduct of special elections.

The PET likewise asked the Comelec and the OSG whether the tribunal’s declaration of failure of elections, and an order for special elections, will violate the poll body’s mandate under the constitution.

The tribunal also ordered the poll body to report to the justices if petitions for failure of elections were filed in the three Mindanao provinces; if the petitions were granted or denied and if special elections were held in the said areas, and the results of these special elections.

It likewise directed that the Comelec and the OSG be furnished copies of its Oct. 15, 2019 resolution and of the separate memoranda submitted by camps of Robredo and Marcos on the said resolution.

In a statement, Robredo’s camp welcomed the development, saying it will help fast-track the resolution of the election protest.

“We will comply with the High Tribunal’s order and wait for the comments of the Commission on Elections and the Solicitor General on the pending matters,” said lawyer Beng Sardillo, Robredo’s counsel.

“We fully believe that the High Tribunal will uphold Vice President Leni Robredo’s victory as seen in the 2016 results and in the recount of ballots. In 2016, our lead was 263,473 votes. And after the recount, our lead increased to 278,566 votes,” Sardillo added.

Marcos’ camp, on the other hand, views the order “with extreme reservation,” as it added “another layer that would cause tremendous delay” in referring the matter to Comelec and the OSG.

Marcos’ spokesperson, lawyer Vic Rodriguez said their protest is under real threat of becoming moot and academic because there is a very thin time left in the term of the contested position.

“May threat na po ang aming election protest na maging moot and academic sapagkat nariyan na po sa paligid ang events of 2022 (elections), nalalapit na po yung filing of candidacy nariyan na po yung campaign period and eventually the conduct of national election,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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