Robredo ordered to comment on Marcos’ appeal before SC on poll protest case

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The Supreme Court has ordered Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to submit her comments on the appeal of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. before court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Marcos is appealing the court’s decision issued last February dismissing his electoral protest case against Robredo for alleged fraud in the 2016 vice presidential race. The former senator in his motion for reconsideration said the Supreme Court justices were divided on the ruling of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the ponente of the decision.

The PET in February this year dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo at a slim 8-7.

Marcos said Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta did not side with Leonen’s position that the case must be dismissed outright since the third cause of action – the annulment of elections in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao Del Sur and Maguindanao – can be treated as a separate case.

“The absence of a specific rule should not dissuade the tribunal from taking cognizance and giving due course to contests praying for the annulment of election results,” Peralta said.

This view was backed by Justice Samuel Gaerlan.

“This Court has consistently recognized the existence of annulment of elections as a remedy available to a losing candidate if it be alleged an election is tainted with irregularities and frauds so numerous and so undeniably characteristic of an intention to defraud and defeat the true expression of the will of the electorate,” he said.

The Marcos camp said the PET made an error for taking the annulment of election results as separate from his second cause of action involving the judicial review and revision of ballots in three pilot provinces namely, Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo.

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