Robredo lawyer accuses Marcos of eager to revise PET guidelines

MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer for Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday accused the camp of former Senator Bongbong Marcos trying to revise the rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) which dismissed his election protest.

The Supreme Court, sitting as the PET, ruled that the entirety of the case had been decided on in coming out with its ruling, contrary to the initial claim of Marcos that only a portion of the petition was junked — a claim that smacks of yet another attempt to circumvent the rules, Robredo lawyer Emil Marañon said.

“Ang hirap kasi sa kampo ni Mr. Marcos ay hindi talaga marunong tumanggap ng pagkatalo. Halatang sanay sa revisionism hindi lang ng kasaysayan, ngayon pati PET Rules gusto baguhin just to suit his interest.  Masakit man tanggapin, but ang katotohanan ay tapos na ang boxing,” Marañon told reporters on Friday.

(The problem with Mr. Marcos’ camp is that they cannot accept defeat.  It seems that they are well-versed in revisionism, but not only in history; now they also want to revise PET Rules just to suit his interest.  It may be hard to accept, but the truth is that the fight is already finished.)

“All that Atty. Vic Rodriguez needs to do is to read the 2010 PET Rules to realize that his arguments are downright foolish. Under the PET Rules, there (are) only two types of election contests: an election protest (Rule 15) and a quo warranto (Rule 16),” Marañon added, referring to the lawyer of Marcos.

Rodriguez earlier claimed that only the second cause of action was dismissed, while the third cause of action which calls for the annulment of votes will still be heard.

Marañon’s jab against the Marcos camp is a reference to allegations that the Marcoses are engaged in historical revisionism, or attempts to change history by insisting that the regime of the Marcos patriarch, late dictator, and former president Ferdinand Marcos, is the golden age of the country.

The former senator said last January 2020 that history books ought to be changed after the Sandiganbayan dismissed several civil cases against them and their supposed cronies.

The over two-decade regime of Ferdinand Marcos is riddled with claims of wide-scale human rights abuses, attacks on political opponents, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, and massive plunder, various accounts showed.

The Marcoses have consistently denied any wrongdoing, but there have been cases wherein family members were convicted — which Marcos did not mention, like the graft conviction of his mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, for transferring funds to Swiss foundations while she occupied government posts in the 1970s.

He also did not include case decisions where paintings and other investments by cronies were forfeited by Sandiganbayan and labeled as part of the ill-gotten wealth.

Marcos was confronted by activists, anti-martial law groups, and relatives of rights defenders during his father’s martial law reign, including the opposition Liberal Party and the Commission on Human Rights.

Regarding the poll protest, Robredo issued a similar statement during her Tuesday briefing, insisting that the Marcos camp got it all wrong especially as SC released a clarification saying that the whole protest case has been dismissed.

According to Marañon, even the cases that Marcos cited — the annulment of votes — was included in a single electoral protest.

“There is no independent action for annulment of election results under the PET rules. 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 explained.

“’Di ba, if they now claim na-separate yun, why did they not file a separate case for annulment? 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 stressed.

Marcos lost to Robredo in the 2016 presidential elections, but questions were raised due to the slim margin of over 260,000 votes between the two. Marcos called for a recount of votes from his hand-picked provinces Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental — his second cause of action in the poll protest.

The third cause of action was a bid for the nullification of votes from certain Mindanao provinces.  However, it appeared that the whole petition was denied because no substantial vote recover was made, with Robredo even widening her lead in the provinces that Marcos picked.


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