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Letters to the Editor

Counter-protest clouds Leni’s victory

/ 12:06 AM April 29, 2017

I had very high hopes that the Sereno Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, would be able to resolve the Marcos-Robredo electoral controversy in due course.  That is to say, before the current vice presidential term expires. Now, however, given recent related developments, I feel such hopes are gradually becoming futile.  It has now been close to one year since Marcos filed his electoral protest; practically nothing has yet happened to date.

To be honest, even as I voted for Bongbong Marcos, it is okay with me if Leni Robredo would eventually turn out to be the true winner.

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I had a very high regard for my kabayan lawyer, Romy Macalintal, given his capability and widely revered credibility as an election lawyer. Knowing he has offered his legal services to Robredo for free, I must also respect the sincerity of his personal conviction that Robredo really won.  And so, more than anybody else, he should be among the very first persons to wish that the ongoing electoral protest filed by Marcos be resolved as soon as possible.

For one, as long as it remains pending, Robredo’s capability to serve will continue to be uncertain, and may even gradually go down the drain.  For another, Robredo’s camp need not necessarily prove that Marcos cheated; it only needs to prove that Robredo or her camp did not cheat, and that is by merely proving that Marcos’ claims are without basis. Therefore, Robredo need not really have to file a counter-protest.

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Nonetheless she did—thanks to the legal maneuvers of her legal counsel, whose very own self-professed objectivity and personal conviction that Robredo really won, I am now also beginning to doubt.

Alas, I did not know that Robredo had filed her own electoral protest and petition for the recounting of votes in a number of precincts. This can commonsensically only mean either or both of two things: one, Robredo herself is not sure she really won; and two, her counter electoral protest is very clearly her own premeditated last-ditch effort to delay the final resolution of the case even in the event that the recounting of the votes in the precincts designated by Marcos would turn out in her favor. Why?  Simply because the votes cast in the precincts designated by Robredo would still have to be recounted just the same; and that may take until close to 2022 to complete.

Worse, Robredo’s camp is now petitioning the court to give it some more time to pay their share of the vote recounting expenses, even as Marcos had already deposited his own share thereof. Wouldn’t that matter alone yet take some more time to rule on and, thus, further delay the judicial process?

I know Robredo is much “poorer” than Marcos.  But if she could not get enough donors to produce the measly sum she is required to deposit in due course, doesn’t it appear that more and more people have been losing their trust and confidence that she indeed won in the last vice-presidential election?

Now, who between Robredo and Marcos has been delaying the resolution of this electoral controversy?  I can only hope in earnest that the members of the PET were not born yesterday to honestly answer this question.

RUDY L. CORONEL, [email protected]

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TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Inquirer editorial, Inquirer letters, leni robredo, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Romulo Macalintal
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