By Hanah Tabios
Hundreds of supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo occupied the stretch of Padre Faura street in Manila fronting the Supreme Court on Tuesday to ask the High Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to release its ruling on the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr.
“Ibasura, ibasura ang gawa gawang protesta,” chanted a group of around 1,800 coming from various sectoral organizations led by Bantay Nakaw Coalition and Tindig Pilipinas Movement.
Former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales said there was no reason for the High Court to further delay its decision on the matter.
“Every week, bawat linggo, narito ang mga mamamayan, ang mga manggagawa, magsasaka, kababaihan, kabataan. Andiyan silang lahat. Sinasamahan ko rin sila. Andiyan din ako at nakikisama ako upang sa gano’n ipakita ang solidarity para sa katotohanan,” she said.
“Certainly, ito naman ay hindi lamang para sa kampo ni Leni. Ito ay para sa mamamayang Pilipino kung kaya ba nating ipagtanggol at ipagtaguyod ang demokrasya sapagkat kung ang katotohanan ay walang substantial recovery at lumamang pa si Leni, ‘di ba dapat ilabas ‘yan?,” she added.
Franciscan nun Teresita Alo also joined the protest. The 80-year-old said she was just one in the hundreds of thousands of people who joined the historic 1986 EDSA revolution. Aware of the ordeal during the Martial Law era, she said her age will not prohibit her from crying for justice in the streets of Manila.
“I support Leni Robredo because deep in my heart I know that she won the election with no cheating. But the Marcoses are protesting. We do not want them to be back in Malacañan because history will repeat itself,” she said.
Kalipunan ng Kilusang Masa spokesman Wilson Fortaleza also pointed out that the case is not judicial in nature but it was heavily grounded on the Marcoses’ political aspirations.
Hence, he said further delay in the court’s ruling was already a waste of time and resources.
“We believe [it] is mocking the spirit of due process,” he said.
But in the afternoon, the SC deferred anew its action on the poll protest. The deliberation was set again on October 15.
Rallyists were then prompted to burn an enlarged copy of Marcos’ poll protest document as a symbol that Robredo will remain the second highest official of the country.