THE camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has claimed that the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) deprived him of due process when it junked his third cause of action in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Marcos spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez alleged that the former lawmaker was not given due process as PET decided to dismiss the election case without even hearing his claims for the third cause of action.
In his electoral protest, Marcos’ third cause of action was the annulment of election results for vice president in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao.
“I read the 92-page decision penned by Justice (Marvic) Leonen and it is unfortunate that he dismissed my election case without even allowing us to present proof about the massive cheating that occurred in Mindanao.
In effect, what was supposed to be a separate, distinct and independent cause of action was rejected because of a plethora of rules. Indeed, it is regrettable that the Justice-in-charge viewed the case with extreme partiality through his yellow lenses,’’ Rodriguez claimed in a statement.
At the same time, Rodriguez bewailed the dismissal of the third cause of action, saying “the will of the electorate should prevail over a plethora of rules.”
“The power of PET is plenary. The third cause of action, like annulment, should not pose a problem even in the absence of rules because the will of the electorate is of paramount importance,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez cited the submissions of the Commission of Election and the Office of the Solicitor General upholding the principle that” the will of the electorate is paramount in every election.”
“The existence or non existence of procedural rules should not be an obstacle in knowing the true will of the people. Rules are just secondary in nature. What is important is the true will of the electorate,” Rodriguez said.
“If the PET was going to dismiss our election protest without hearing all the evidence, then why didn’t it dismiss our third cause of action from day 1? Instead they made us pay P66 million for the protest . . . made us wait for almost five years . . . made us believe that the annulment was a separate, distinct and independent cause of action — only to decide the case without affording us due process?” he asked.
On Monday, PET released the full text of its February 16, 2021 decision that unanimously junked Marcos’ election case. The tribunal also dismissed his third cause of action – the annulment of election results for vice president in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao.
The camp of Marcos is insisting that PET only “dismissed his second cause of action, not his third cause of action.
Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
But in his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
He named three provinces where he can supposedly prove that irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections. These provinces were Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
But after the recount, the PET found that Robredo’s lead over Marcos even widened by some 15,000 votes.
Marcos asked PET to review and reconsider the results of the ballot recount in his three pilot provinces.
According to the former lawmaker, some 174 signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors in Iloilo had “glaringly different” signatures which became manifestly obvious when compared to other election documents.
Marcos added that his camp’s objection over the authenticity of votes in the pilot provinces have been unreasonably overruled in the recount.Publication Source : People's Tonight