OCTOBER 9, 2019 – The camp of former Senator Bongbong Marcos on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to release a decision on the initial recount of his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, expressing concern that the changing composition of magistrates may cause further delay.
The high court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), deferred for the second time a ruling on the protest filed right after the 2016 elections where Robredo won by over 260,000 votes over Marcos.
“Ang problema lang kapag magpapalit, panibagong pag-aaral na naman iyon ng mga bagong-appointed sapagkat hindi naman nila pamilyar doon sa kaso and the applicable… so mag-aaral muli,” Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said in an interview with Radyo Singko’s Early All Ready.
“It might and may cause another round of delay,” he added.
Six justices have retired since 2018, while Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted as chief justice. Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio are also set to retire this month.
The PET moved to October 15 the voting on a report by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, which contained the result of the recount on ballots from three pilot provinces chosen by Marcos covering Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur.
Bersamin will retire on October 18. Another deferment on October 15 will likely put Bersamin out of commission to participate in the electoral protest deliberation. Carpio will retire on October 26.
“Matagal na nga naming sinasabi na this is not in our best interest to have this election protest filed by Sen. Marcos to drag on sapagkat kung mapapansin po ninyo six years lamang ang term ng vice president,” Rodriguez said.
“Wala kaming gain or advantage kung patuloy pa itong tatagal,” he added.
Initial reports said Bersamin is likely to vote in favor of Marcos while Carpio is deemed to go with Robredo, affirming Rule 65 of the PET which stipulates that the recount in other areas will only continue if the massive cheating is proven in the three pilot provinces.
Despite the delay, Marcos’ camp remains optimistic the recount results will favor them.
“We are very very confident that we have evidences with the allegations, as well as the testimonies noong mga taong pinangalan sa tribunal,” Rodriguez said.
Marcos’ camp accused Robredo of massive cheating in the elections, saying the Commission on Elections’ transparency server was compromised by the change in system hash code during the canvassing.
Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, asserted the system hash code change did not alter the results. (Karen Macalalad/ AAD)
Balikan ang mga pangyayari sa protesta ni dating senador
Bongbong Marcos laban kay VP Leni Robredo. Ngayong araw nakatakdang ilabas ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal ang desisyon dito. pic.twitter.com/yka4ETMFCw
— News5 AKSYON (@News5AKSYON) October 8, 2019