SC upholds VP Robredo’s win

Published February 16, 2021, 12:34 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

No decision yet on third cause of action, Bongbong’s spokesman claims

The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), upheld the victory of Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential election.

After its full court session on Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, the SC, in a unanimous vote of 15 justices, dismissed the election protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against VP Robredo.

Vice President Leni Robredo
(Mark Balmores / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

SC spokesman Brian Keith F. Hosaka said that seven justices concurred fully in the decision to dismiss the protest, while eight justices voted in the result – only on the dismissal of the petition.

The names of those who concurred fully in the decision to dismiss and those who voted merely in the result (the dismissal) were not revealed by Hosaka.

He merely said that a copy of the decision or resolution will be uploaded in the SC website – sc.judiciary.gov.ph – once available.

While Hosaka did not mention the writer or ponente of the decision, published reports show that the justice-in-charge of the election protest is Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen.

It took the SC, sitting as PET, almost four years to resolve the protest that was filed by Marcos in June 2016.

Truth has prevailed

The camp of Vice President Robredo viewed the decision as a triumph of truth.

In a Facebook post, Aika Robredo, the vice president’s eldest daughter, shared a photo of her mother with her back turned from the camera with the words: “Sa huli, ang tama ang laging mananaig (In the end, the truth shall always prevail).”

Aika captioned the post simply with “Today.”

Office of the Vice President (OVP) Undersecretary Philip Dy, Robredo’s chief of staff, said also on Facebook that he has mixed feelings about the High Court’s decision.

“Sa totoo lang, di ko pa naiintindihan yung nararamdaman ko. Merong ‘totoo ba ito.’ Merong ‘sa wakas.’ Merong relief. Merong saya. Merong excitement. Higit sa lahat, merong pasasalamat. Malalim na pasasalamat (In truth, I cannot understand how I feel. There is ‘Is this true?’ There’s ‘finally.’ There’s relief. There’s joy. There’s excitement. Most of all, there’s gratitude. Deep gratitude),” he said.

“Pasasalamat na natuldukan na yung kasinungalingan. Pasasalamat na kasinliwanag ng araw ang katotohanan. Pasasalamat na move on na sa wakas, dahil ang daming mas mahalagang kailangang buhusan ng atensyon at panahon. Congrats, Mam Leni! Tuloy ang trabaho (Thankful that the lies have finally come to an end. Thankful that the truth is as bright as the sun. Thankful that we can move on finally, because there are more important things that we should pour our attention and time into. Congrats, Ma’am Leni! Back to work)!”

Jill Campo-Javiniar, head of OVP’s Angat Buhay program, echoed the same statement.

“The Supreme Court has spoken. Ma’am Leni is the duly elected Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines,” she said in Filipino.

Second cause of action

Reacting to the decision, the camp of ex-senator Marcos said the PET has yet to decide on the third cause of action.

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesman, issued the following statement:

“Based on the official pronouncement made by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal today (Feb. 16), the court unanimously voted to dismiss our second cause of action which is the manual recount and judicial revision.

“However, as to the issue on how to proceed with our third cause of action which is the annulment of votes in Mindanao, the Tribunal has yet to decide on the matter.”

3 causes of action

Marcos’ protest against Robredo 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 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. (With reports from Raymund Antonio and Mario Casayuran)

 
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