Robredo-Marcos rivalry heats up anew as VP poll protest dismissal appealed

VICE PRESIDENT Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA — The Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, has directed Vice President Leni Robredo to answer former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s appeal on the dismissal of his poll protest.

SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka confirmed the PET’s order.

“I confirm that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal in its resolution of June 15, 2021 in PET Case No. 005, has required respondent VP Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo to file her comment to the Motion for Reconsideration dated May 6, 2021 filed by protestee Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos,” Hosaka said.

Robredo was given ten days from receipt of the tribunal’s order to file their comment.

The PET, in a ruling penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, was unanimous in junking Marcos’ poll protest against Robredo. It held that the defeated candidate failed to specify allegations that support his claim of electoral fraud in petition.

In May, Marcos filed a 96-paged appeal and urged the tribunal to proceed with his third cause of action, which involves the nullification of votes in the three Mindanao provinces due to alleged widespread terrorism, violence, threats, coercion, force, intimidation and proliferation of pre-shaded ballots.

He anchored his appeal on four arguments:

  • that the PET erred when it claimed his allegations are insufficient;
  • that the tribunal erred when it did not consider his third cause of action as independent from the revision of ballots;
  • that the tribunal erred in dismissing the third cause of action by applying Rule 65 of the PET rules
  • that he should have been given the opportunity to present his evidence

Marcos is appealing to a tribunal that, in a unanimous vote, junked his poll protest.

He insisted in his motion for reconsideration that his third cause of action is a separate action, despite the tribunal stating that he “failed to make out his case.”

“There is no substantial recovery of votes in the pilot provinces that he himself had designated. To entertain the third cause of action is to risk frustrating the valid exercise of the nation’s democratic will and subject it to the endless whims of a defeated candidate,” the ruling further stated.