Robredo lawyer tells Marcos camp: Accept defeat

A lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo told the camp of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to just accept defeat and stop playing their favorite game of revisionism.

Lawyer Emil Marañon made the statement after Marcos lawyer Vic Rodriguez said the electoral protest of the former senator against Robredo does not include the annulment of elections.

In an interview with reporters, Marañon said Marcos's camp should not try changing the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) rules, noting that the election protest of the defeated vice-president wannabe includes the dismissal of all incidents relating to his case, including his cause of action for annulment.

"Ang hirap kasi sa kampo ni Mr. Marcos ay hindi talaga marunong tumanggap ng pagkatalo (What's unfortunate is that the camp of Mr. Marcos doesn't really know how to accept defeat)," he said Friday.

"Halatang sanay sa revisionism hindi lang ng kasaysayan, ngayon pati PET Rules gusto baguhin just to suit his interest (It just proves that they are used to revisionism-- not just history but also PET Rules just to suit his interest)," he added.

Marañon said it would be better if Marcos camp accepts defeat in the poll protest case. 

"Masakit man tanggapin, but ang katotohanan ay tapos na ang boxing (It's hard to accept it but the reality is the boxing match is over)," he said. 

"No amount of lies can change this fact," he added.

The Supreme Court (SC), acting as the PET, had already decided to dismiss the case. However, the Marcos camp is seeking clarification to find out if the PET dismissed the entire protest or only its plea for a manual recount.

Rodriguez likewise claimed that the electoral protest in the strictest sense does not include the annulment of elections.

According to Marañon, all Rodriguez needs to do is to read the 2010 PET Rules to realize that his arguments are "downright foolish."

"Under the PET Rules, there only two types of election contests: an election protest (Rule 15) and a quo warranto (Rule 16). There is no independent action for an annulment of election results under the PET rules," he said.

"There being none, a prayer for annulment is usually tucked as part of an election protest, as what Bongbong Marcos' election lawyers have done in his case," he added.

Marañon said the Marcos camp should have filed a separate case for annulment if they are claiming that it was separate.

"Why include it as part of Marcos' election protest? Even the case of Abayon vs. HRET cited by him to support his claim for annulment was also filed as an election protest," he said.

"Thus, the dismissal of Bongbong Marcos' election protest includes the dismissal of all incidents relating to his case, including his cause of action for annulment," he added.

During the recount in October 2019, the PET said that Robredo’s lead grew by 15,000 votes from the 5,415 clustered precincts. This prompted the Marcos camp to pursue a third cause of action to nullify votes from Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan due to alleged election fraud.

On Tuesday, February 16, the PET unanimously junked Marcos’ electoral protest for lack of merit, with seven justices fully concurred in the dismissal while eight concurred in the results. Robredo’s counter-protest was also dismissed.