Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo must submit her comments on the appeal filed by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. before the Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) for the electoral protest alleging fraud was committed in the 2016 vice president race.

The PET issued the resolution ordering Robredo to respond to a motion for reconsideration filed by the Marcos camp, which argued that the Supreme Court justices were divided on the ruling of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Robredo has 10 days to submit her comment.

The PET also “resolved to consider” the issues raised by former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loreta Ann Rosales who intervened in the case, which may have something to do with human rights issues during the Marcos administration.

In his appeal, Marcos said Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta objected to Leonen’s position that the case must be dismissed outright since the third cause of action – the annulment of elections in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao Del Sur and Maguindanao – be treated as a separate case.

Marcos said the Office of the Solicitor General and the Commission on Elections sided with his position that that annulment of elections can still be ruled upon.

“The absence of a specific rule should not dissuade the tribunal from taking cognizance and giving due course to contests praying for the annulment of election results,” Peralta said.

Justice Samuel Gaerlan also backed Peralta’s view.

“This Court has consistently recognized the existence of annulment of elections as a remedy available to a losing candidate if it be alleged an election is tainted with irregularities and frauds so numerous and so undeniably characteristic of an intention to defraud and defeat the true expression of the will of the electorate,” he said.

Marcos said in his appeal that “We owe it to the more than 14 Filipinos who voted for Bongbong Marcos and more so to the millions more whose votes went missing, to pursue this fight to the very end. When all is said and done, the true will of the electorate should be heard.”Last February, the PET dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo at 8-7.

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