Northbound Philippines News

Marcos wants Leonen out of VP poll protest case

MANILA – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. formally asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Monday to direct Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to recuse himself from participating in his election protest case against Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

In a 22-page motion submitted to the High Court, Marcos cited Leonen’s alleged well-documented bias against him and his family as one of the main reasons why the latter intentionally sat on his election protest for almost a year.

Marcos is also asking the Supreme Court, sitting as the PET, to re-raffle his case and resolve all pending incidents relating to his electoral protest with less than a year and a half into the next presidential elections in May 2022.

Leonen replaced Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa as the assigned justice of the case in October 2019.

“It is clear that we’ll never get justice if Leonen is around because of his hatred towards me and my family. This is evidenced by his past decisions where he unequivocally condemned me and my family. It’s obvious he’s doing everything in his power to suppress the real story behind the 2016 Vice-Presidential elections, disenfranchising millions of Filipinos who wanted nothing but credible elections,” Marcos said.

The omnibus motion cites several cases which he said bared Leonen’s dislike for the Marcos family, such as the case involving the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In his dissenting opinion, Leonen’s remarks extended to the other members of the Marcos family when he said, “…not only was he [Marcos] the President that presided over those violations, but that he and his spouse, relatives, associates, cronies, and subordinates were active participants”.

Marcos added that Leonen went as far as suggesting that the late strongman’s heirs issue a public apology for the supposed violations committed during their father’s time by saying, “there has been no sufficient public apology, the full acknowledgment of facts, or any clear acceptance of responsibility on the part of Ferdinand E. Marcos or his heirs”.

Last week, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) submitted their respective comments on the election protest in compliance with the PET’s order.

Both offices affirmed Marcos’ position that the PET had the power to declare the annulment of votes in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao, the three areas identified in Marcos’s third cause of action in his poll protest.

“The fact that both the Comelec and the OSG agreed with my position is a clear sign that the protest should move forward. However, Justice Leonen’s bias and deliberate procrastination continue to drag the case,” Marcos said. “The right thing to do is for Justice Leonen to recuse himself from participating in my election protest so that the case can finally move forward. We need to resolve the issue of legitimacy — one way or another.” Benjamin Pulta / PNA –

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