By Chito Chavez
The human rights watchdog Karapatan has expressed fear over the delay in the release of the decision of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on the recount of the votes casted in the vice presidential race in 2016.
Karapatan deputy secretary-general said “there is a duplicitous and sly plan in motion to continue the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses.
“Starting from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ undeserved burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2017 up to the refusal of this government to jail convicted criminal Imelda Marcos and the congenial accommodation for Bongbong Marcos’ ongoing electoral protest, the Duterte regime is the gift that keeps on giving. This special treatment is reserved for Marcos Jr. who, if successful in unseating Vice President Leni Robredo after some serious hocus pocus, will provide protection for Duterte and his allies once he and his cohorts step down,” said Clamor.
On October 8, 2019, the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the PET, deferred voting on the Marcos-Robredo case despite the claim that the recount of the ballots of 5,415 precincts in three pilot provinces had led to an increase in the votes for Robredo and a reduction in the votes for Bongbong.
Clamor said the SC en banc has yet to make any action on the matter when the retirement of both the Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio looms.
Karapatan said it is entirely possible that Marcos will have his first win in the electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo with a vote of 8-6.
“Schemers are delaying this case. Those who want to dominate and remove any semblance of independence from the Supreme Court seem to be waiting for the retirement of a few SC justices, including Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who is set to retire on October 26,” added Clamor.
With only a few years left of Robredo’s term, Clamor noted “Bongbong Marcos remains adamant in pursuing his electoral protest to have him sit as the second-highest official of the land’’.
“The delusion by the Marcos family is fed by the Duterte-Marcos alliance, precisely because power, protection, and absolution from accountability are at stake. Both the Dutertes and the Marcoses have something to gain – the Marcoses will be back in power and the Duterte regime will be protected from its crimes against the Filipino people,” Clamor noted.
Clamor added the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses also comes with the dismissal of plunder cases against the dictator’s family.
In August 2019, Karapatan said the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division dismissed the P102-billion forfeiture complaint against Bienvenido Tantoco, a Marcos crony since there was purportedly insufficient evidence to convict him for profiting from unbridled importations of luxury goods for Rustan’s supermarket that the Marcoses allowed for 21 years.
On October 8, 2019, Karapatan noted the same Sandiganbayan Division dismissed another P1-billion civil suit against the Marcoses and their cronies.
Both cases were filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), an agency mandated to recover ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the Marcos regime.
Clamor recalled that both cases involved a stash of jewelry, real estate properties, corporations, expensive artworks, among others.
“We cannot expect anything from a thieving family who is incapable of any honesty. With a complicit government, the Marcoses will remain a danger to the Filipino people. We urge the SC, sitting as the PET, to uphold the rule of law and immediately act on the poll protest in good conscience. Our vigilance in ensuring that a Marcos does not inch closer to the Presidency is part of our commitment to justice and accountability. We vow to never forget. Despite the looming dictatorship helmed by a new tyrant, we will continue to resist, ” Clamor concluded.