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MANILA, Philippines – Lawyers of Vice President Leni Robredo filed a motion asking the Supreme Court (SC) to reconsider its ruling that junked her appeal to dismiss the election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Robredo’s camp, in the appeal filed February 27, argued that the alleged irregularities were not specified for all the areas included in Marcos’ election protest, contrary to the SC ruling.
In its January 24, 2017 decision, the SC said: “Marcos’ protest questioning the results in various provinces consisting of 662 municipalities and their component cities and the 2,537 clustered from 5 highly urbanized cities, contained narration of ultimate facts on the alleged irregularities and anomalies in said areas and clustered precincts.”
But according to Robredo’s lawyers, the affidavits submitted only pertain to 57 of the 662 municipalities and component cities.
“There are 662 municipalities in total from the 22 provinces included in the protest. Marcos was able to attach affidavits [for] 57 municipalities but the affidavits are pro forma and some were even denied by the people who allegedly made them,” said lawyer Beng Sardillo.
Marcos’ camp, in response, accused the Vice President’s team of resorting to delaying tactics. They said the supposed issue can be resolved with more evidence to be presented as the case proceeds.
“Senator Marcos already wants to make his day in court. Why don’t they let loose and let the whole process flow the natural way?” said Marcos’ lawyer and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez.
Marcos’ legal team also argued that the setting of the preliminary conference has long been delayed.
“To date, more than 5 months have lapsed since the filing of the Answer Ad Cautelam to the Counter-Protest, the last pleading in this case. It thus behooves this Honorable Tribunal to immediately schedule the conduct of the preliminary conference in this case as mandated by its own Rules of Procedure,” stated the pleading filed by Marcos’ lawyers on Monday, March 6.
“Protestee Robredo’s opposition to the setting of the preliminary conference is obviously dilatory in nature. This Honorable Tribunal should not be swayed by her ambiguous and distorted arguments,” they added.
Marcos filed his election protest against Robredo on June 29 last year. He accused the Vice President and the Liberal Party of orchestrating massive electoral fraud.
Marcos’ camp on Monday also pointed out that it only took two months since the filing of the protest of former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II against then-vice president Jejomar Binay for the SC to set the preliminary conference.
In their pleading, Marcos’ lawyers urged the SC to act on their earlier petition to proceed with the preliminary conference, where the issues and the number of ballot revision committees will be tackled.
They also responded to the Robredo camp’s claim that the case can’t proceed amid pending issues such as the data found in unused SD cards.
“The conduct of the preliminary conference cannot be stifled by the pending incidents in this cases,” said Marcos’ pleading.
“In a long line of decided cases, the SC has held that in an election protest, different causes of action can proceed independently of each other.” – Rappler.com