HRET work resumption seen by end of May

Published May 2, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) hopes to resume the deliberations of electoral protests by the end of the month.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (WikiData/MANILA BULLETIN)
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (WikiData/MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are looking at the end of May in order to continue our deliberations in the electoral protests,” said Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, HRET chairman, during an online forum conducted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Saturday morning, May 2.

“I think these are more than 30 cases that are pending with the election tribunal,” the magistrate noted.

The government has decided to extend up to May 15 the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in areas that remain high-risk to the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and implement general community quarantine (GCQ) in medium and low risk areas.

Meanwhile, Leonen renewed appeals to the House of Representatives to address the condemned HRET building located inside the Sandiganbayan compound in Quezon City.

“Let me just say that HRET has a big problem. The building of the HRET has been condemned,” said Leonen.

The magistrate lamented that there is a danger that the building may “actually implode and bury all the staff and the records that are contained in it.”

Leonen noted that “for the last few weeks before the quarantine our staff has been operating outside.”

“Even before the quarantine, we have been looking for space to be able to house not only the staff but also the hearing officers and directors of the electoral tribunal,” he said.

“We are just hoping that problem is thoroughly addressed by Congress,” Leonen added.