The Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party and several youth groups on Wednesday, Oct. 7, asked the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to resolve immediately the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo in connection with the 2016 vice presidential election.
In a letter sent to SC justices, the groups said “there’s no more reason for the PET to keep this protest going.”
“The rules clearly state that for Marcos’ protest to prosper and expand to other provinces, he should get substantial recovery from the three provinces that he had identified — Iloilo, Camarines Sur, and Negros Oriental,” they said.
They pointed out that Marcos failed to get substantial recovery of the votes in the three provinces after the recount and revision done by the PET.
In its Oct. 15, 2019 resolution, the PET said: “Thus, based on the final tally after revision and appreciation of the votes in the pilot provinces, protestee Robredo maintained, as in fact she increased her lead with 14,436,337 votes over protestant Marcos who obtained 14,157,771 votes. After the revision and appreciation, the lead of protestee Robredo increased from 263,473 to 278,566.”
Last month, the PET decided to furnish the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) with its Oct. 15, 2019 resolution.
Among other things, the Comelec and the OSG were ordered to comment on issues related to the third cause of action in Marcos’ electoral protest.
Both Marcos and Robredo were also directed to reply within 15 days to the comments that should be submitted by the Comelec and the OSG.
Marcos’ protest has three causes of action – annulment of the proclamation of Robredo; recount and revision of ballots in 36,465 protested clustered precincts; and annulment of election results for vice president in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan on the ground of alleged terrorism; intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts.
Also in their letter, the groups told the SC: “As the final arbiter of laws, the Supreme Court must ensure that all rules are followed to the letter. Prolonging this electoral protest does not benefit anyone except the Marcos family.”
The letter was signed by Loretta Ann P. Rosales, chairperson emeritus of Akbayan; Raymond John S. Naguit, chairperson of Akbayan Youth; John Anthony Q. Jacib, convenor of Youth Resist; Rafaela Mae David, executive director of Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking; Merylhilda Jalani, president Millenials PH; Jesa Antonette A. Rodriguez of Student Council Alliance of the Philippines; Kristine Nathaniel Miranda, chairperson of UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran; Kelly Denn Tomas and Athena Jeanne Rosales of Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality; Mario Aristeo Gojol, secretary general of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa; and Ma. Gia Grace Baquiran Sison.