Marcos legal team disowns Glenn Chong in VP protest
MANILA, Philippines – The lawyers of ex-senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr told the Supreme Court (SC) that ex-Biliran representative Glenn Chong is not part of their team in the vice presidential electoral protest.
On Thursday, November 22, Rappler obtained a copy of the comment submitted by Marcos' lawyers George Garcia and Joan Padilla to the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), dated October 20. Garcia himself confirmed to Rappler that they had indeed filed the document.
"First, Atty Glenn Chong is not part of the legal team of protestant Marcos. He was never engaged by protestant Marcos as legal counsel for this election protest. This is easily verifiable from the records of the above-entitled case," said Garcia and Padilla.
"Any claim to the contrary is a flagrant lie," Marcos' lawyers added.
The legal counsels explained this is the reason why Marcos himself is "incompetent" to answer the allegations made by his rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, in relation to Chong. They said Marcos has "no personal knowledge" about Chong's accusations.
The SC had directed them to comment on the manifestation of grave concern with urgent motion previously filed by Robredo's lawyers to investigate Chong, who has been alleging electoral fraud in the 2016 vice presidential race.
Robredo had beaten Marcos by just 263,473 votes, leading the latter to allege cheating and file an election case against her.
In their manifestation, Robredo's lawyers cited partial transcripts of a July 31 Senate hearing on the alleged poll fraud in 2016, where Chong was one of the resource persons.
Robredo's legal counsels said Chong had presented copies of audit logs from Ragay, Camarines Sur, to "bolster his allegations." When Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked Chong where he got the data, he said he got them from the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
It was also during this hearing that Chong denied being a lawyer for Marcos.
Drilon, however, had presented two letters showing Chong was among the representatives authorized by the Marcos camp to attend the decryption of secure digital cards, a Commission on Elections briefing, and the stripping of unused Comelec Central Server kits and backup of SD cards in 2017.
In their comment, the Marcos camp said it was one of their members, lawyer Jose Amor Amorado, who had included Chong to be a witness and observer in the proceedings mentioned by Drilon.
But the Marcos camp clarified Amorado did so only as an "accommodation" given to Chong over his "advocacy for clean and honest elections."
"It must be clarified, however, that Atty Chong's participation in the undertakings/proceedings mentioned above is strictly limited to merely observing the proceedings," said the Marcos camp.
"He was never given any authority to represent and/or speak for and on behalf of protestant Marcos," they added.
The ballot recount for Marcos' electoral protest against Robredo is still ongoing.
Read a full copy of the Marcos camp's comment below: