Bongbong accuses SC justice of ‘extreme partiality’ in junked PET protest

Published April 20, 2021, 7:27 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, April 20, said that it is regrettable that his election protest lodged with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) was viewed by the Justice-in-charge with ‘’extreme partiality through his yellow lenses.’’       

Former Senator Ferdinand “BongBong’’ R. Marcos Jr. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The defeated 2016 vice presidential candidate specifically hit Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who penned the PET ruling that junked his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo in February.        

Through his spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos said: “I read the 92-page decision penned by Justice Leonen and it is unfortunate that he dismissed my election case without even allowing us to present proof about the massive cheating that occurred in Mindanao.’’       

‘’In effect, what was supposed to be a separate, distinct and independent cause of action was rejected because of a plethora of rules.  Indeed, it is regrettable that the Justice-in-charge viewed the case with extreme partiality through his yellow lenses,’’ he added.         

Marcos explained that the power of PET is plenary.        

‘’The third cause of action, like annulment, should not pose a problem even in the absence of rules because the will of the electorate is of paramount importance.  When asked for their opinion regarding election rules, both the Commission of Election [Comelec)  and the Office of the Solicitor General [OSG) were one in saying: What is important in any election is that the will of the people is paramount,’’ he said.       

‘’The existence or non-existence of procedural rules should not be an obstacle in knowing the true will of the people.  Rules are just secondary in nature.  What is important is the true will of the electorate,’’ he added.        

Marcos stressed that the PET should do everything in its power to ascertain who really won as vice president.        

 ‘’The truth should not be limited to the existence or non existence of the Rules on Annulment because at the end of the day, it will be the people themselves who will be deprived of ascertaining who the real victor in the 2016 elections were,’’he pointed out.        

Marcos asked: “If the PET was going to dismiss our election protest without hearing all the evidence, then why didn’t it dismiss our third cause of action from day 1?  Instead they made us pay P66 million for the protest, made us wait for almost five years, made us believe that  the annulment was a separate, distinct and independent cause of action — only to decide the case without affording us due process?’’    

 He said: “This is a very bad precedent because in the future, no one in their right mind would dare question the results of an election.”     

 ‘’It is an expensive and time consuming exercise,’’ he lamented.        

In its February 16, 2021 decision released Monday, April 19, the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the PET, scrapped Marcos’ protest for the latter’s supposed “fail[ure] to substantiate his allegations of the massive anomalies and irregularities” during the 2016 elections.         

“Instead, he chose to make sweeping allegations of wrongdoing and submitted incomplete and incorrect data. His abject failure to support his claims leaves his Tribunal with no other recourse but to dismiss his protest,” the PET said of Marcos.       

Fifteen magistrates voted to junk the former senators’ protest, while eight concurred in the result.        

‘’So long as there is a ray of hope, I will continue to fight.  I owe this to the more than 14 million loyalists who voted for me.  I owe this to our youth who will be casting their ballots in 2022. At the end of the day, the true will of the electorate must prevail,’’ Marcos insisted.