VP electoral protest

Malacañang ‘respects’ SC dismissal of Marcos protest, but says appeal still possible

Pia Ranada
President Duterte's office expresses no qualms about the High Court's unanimous decision favoring Vice President Leni Robredo

Malacañang said it respects the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to junk the electoral protest of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte’s, against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“That is the decision of the Supreme Court. We respect that and we respect also that the camp of Senator Bongbong Marcos has a further remedy of moving for reconsideration,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday, February 16.

Asked if the high court’s decision will mean an improvement in the ties between Duterte and Robredo, Roque said, “I don’t think it makes any difference because the President has always referred to VP Leni as the Vice President.”

As to Marcos filing a motion for reconsideration to appeal the decision, this is allowed in the legal process. However, lawyer and former Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te commented on the chances that such a move would succeed.

“While it can still be subject of an MFR (motion for reconsideration), the unanimous vote makes it extremely difficult to reverse,” he said in a tweet.

“Even if some Js (justices) voted to concur only in the result, this only means they had different reasons but the same conclusion,” said Te.

Duterte has never shied from making it publicly known that he would have preferred Marcos to be vice president, instead of Robredo who is from the opposition. Duterte went so far as to say he would like Marcos to succeed him in the Philippine presidency.

Duterte and the namesake of the late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos have been good friends since their days as congressmen. The President has also praised President Marcos and green-lighted a controversial heroes’ burial for him.

He endorsed Bongbong’s sister, Imee Marcos, for senator, in the 2019 national elections and claimed she contributed to his 2016 presidential campaign.

In contrast, the President has frequently publicly taunted Robredo who has been an outspoken critic of his policies and remarks, including his bloody drug war and moves to stifle dissent. Early in his presidency, he eased Robredo out of his Cabinet. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.