MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday, November 21, she continues to have faith in the Supreme Court (SC), that it will handle fairly the election protest filed against her by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Speculations about the SC favoring Marcos Jr in the election case had intensified over the past week, after the High Court on November 8 ruled to allow former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (READ: How did SC justices vote on major political cases?)
The SC sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which hears protests involving presidential and vice presidential elections.
“Ngayon naman naniniwala tayo na iyong PET, ang pagbabasehan ng kanilang judgment ay iyong lahat ng ebidensya na pumapasok. At ngayon hopeful naman tayo na iyon ang mangyayari. Kailangan na mayroon tayong faith in institutions,” said Robredo in a chance interview on Monday, November 21.
(Now we believe that the PET will base its judgments on all the evidence that will come in. Now we are just hopeful that that is what will happen. We also need to have faith in institutions.)
Over the weekend, Robredo’s camp received text messages that the recount of ballots will start by the end of November and be done by December. One message even said: “You can bet early next year, we have a new VP.”
This supposed recount would be “without the direction of the PET,” Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez quoted the text messages.
Robredo said that their office would not take action on the alarming messages.
But when asked who they think were behind the text messages, she answered in Filipino: “Of course, our speculation is that these were from our opponent in the case. Maybe there’s an attempt to shape the people’s perception, to shift mindset.”
Links to Marcos burial?
The Vice President also said that these messages may have a connection to the Marcos burial held in secrecy on November 18.
“Anything is possible. Last Friday, we were not expecting that but it happened. Maybe this should be a lesson that we should not be complacent,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Meanwhile, Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said that the “next moves of the Marcoses” must be closely watched after the surprising interment rites he believes was done in connivance with the military.
“Kasi iyong pahayag ni Imee at lalong-lalo na si Bongbong, na from this day on, tuloy-tuloy lang ang pagtupad sa pangarap ng tatay [niya] sa isang pagkakaisa at kaunlaran ng Bagong Lipunan. So whatever that means, kailangan babantayan ko lang ang gagawin nila,” he told reporters after filing a petition to cite the Marcos family and the military for contempt of court on Monday. (READ: Marcos Jr: Watch out, I’ll be back!)
(Because Imee, and especially Bongbong, said that, from this day on, their father’s dream of unity and progress for the New Society will be fulfilled without hurdles. Whatever that means, I just need to watch out what they will be doing.)
“We all know he has a standing election protest against Leni Robredo for vice president. Ultimately, it’s the [SC] that is involved there. Even the way the magistrates will vote, they will see how they can overturn it to launch him to vice presidency,” he said.
In the case with the PET, Marcos Jr is accusing Robredo’s camp of cheating in the elections due to irregular election proceedings in Mindanao. Marcos lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the last elections.
Robredo has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss Marcos’ petition because he had raised issues other than the results of the vice presidential race, and failed to show proof to back up his claims of irregularities. (READ: Why Leni Robredo should file a counter-protest vs Marcos Jr) – Rappler.com