VP Robredo’s plea on poll protest case another ‘delaying tactic’ — Marcos

MANILA — Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., said that Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo’s motion for reconsideration filed before Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is yet another dilatory tactic.

””This (motion for reconsideraiton) should not be tolerated by this Honorable Tribunal, as this would contradict the PET’s mandate to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every contest brought before it,” Marcos said in his 25-page comment filed last Friday as he asked the tribunal to dismiss the appeal filed by Robredo and instead affirm its finding of sufficiency in form and substance of his protest.

Marcos’ legal counsel George Erwin M. Garcia said that the tribunal should start the ball rolling on his electoral protest and reiterated that a preliminary conference should be set.

“More than nine months have already gone by and all protestee Robredo has done is to file one dilatory motion after another. If protestee Robredo has nothing to hide, then she should do everything in her power to encourage – rather than hinder – this election protest to move forward,” read the latest pleading.

“The millions of voters who trooped to the polls nine months ago deserve no less. They want the truth to come out. The sooner the better,” it pointed out.

Marcos also urged the PET to order the immediate collection, retrieval, transport and delivery of all ballot boxes in all 36,465 clustered precincts during the May 9, 2016 elections.

He likewise asked the tribunal to now proceed with the preliminary conference in the case as provided in Rule 29 of its rules for the conduct of manual recount, judicial revision, technical examination and forensic investigation under Rule 37 as he sought in the protest.

Last Feb. 16, the PET has found sufficient grounds to proceed with the election protest filed by Marcos against Robredo.

The Tribunal affirms its jurisdiction over the instant Protest, which is sufficient in form and substance. The protestee’s [Robredo] prayer to dismiss the Protest for lack of jurisdiction and for being insufficient in form and substance is denied,” PET said in an eight-page resolution.

”However, while the Tribunal finds the Protest sufficient in form and substance, it must be emphasized that, as to the veracity of the protestant’s allegations, nothing yet has been proved. The Protest is only sufficient for the Tribunal to proceed and give the protestant the opportunity to prove his case in accordance with the 2010 PET Rules,” it added.

The PET also said the election protest is sufficient in form and substance.

“The protest contained narrations of ultimate facts on the alleged irregularities and anomalies in the contested clustered precincts, which the protestant needs to prove in due time,” the PET said.

Contrary to Robredo’s argument, the PET said they have the jurisdiction to act on the electoral protest as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.

“Section IV, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution in relation to Rule 13 of the 2010 PET Rules provides that the Tribunal shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President and Vice President. The phrase “election, election, returns, and qualifications” refers to all matters affecting the validity of the contestee’s title, which includes questions on the validity, authenticity and correctness of the Certificates of Canvass,’ the PET said.

At the same time, it clarified that while they found the protest sufficient in form and substance, the veracity of Marcos’ allegations against Robredo are yet to be proven.

Marcos earlier said he decided to file the electoral protest due to the series of frauds, anomalies and irregularities that marred the May 9 elections and that such activities made sure he would lose to Robredo, the vice presidential candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party.

Robredo won the 2016 vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos who got 14,155,344 votes. PNA-northboundasia.com