FORMER senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s “weak” election protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is delaying the case, Robredo’s camp has said.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, lead counsel for Robredo, made the stance in response to accusations of the Marcos camp that the vice president was resorting to delaying tactics.
Robredo had filed a motion for reconsideration on the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) decision finding Marcos’ protest sufficient in form and substance.
Macalintal argued that for one, Marcos failed to comply with tribunal rules that require a detailed specification of the acts or omissions showing election fraud and irregularities.
Macalintal noted that while Marcos protested results in at least 662 municipalities in various provinces, he only made detailed specification of fraud in 57 municipalities.
“Detailed specification means that Marcos should specifically allege in his protest who, what, where or when these acts were committed. If Marcos only filed a strong and meritorious election protest with full compliance with the rules on the substance or evidence to be alleged in the complaint, we would not have any ground to question his apparent haphazardly prepared election protest,” Macalintal said.
“Marcos is the very root or cause why his complaint is still at the preliminary stage. Let it be of record that it is not a matter of a delayed action on Marcos’ election protest but mainly a matter of a very weak and frivolous case he presented before the PET,” Macalintal added.
Macalintal also said Marcos was bordering on questioning the PET’s competence because of repeated accusations that Robredo was delaying the protest.
“Vice President Robredo, as a lawyer, knows that we should not resort to any act that would give the impression that we are delaying its resolution to show our respect to the members of the PET, thus she gave us her strict in-struction to comply with all its rules,” Macalintal said.
Robredo had said in a radio interview that she would agree to a recount of the vice presidential votes in the May 2016 polls, but Marcos should first prove his claims of fraud.
Marcos, she said, claims poll fraud in 2,537 clustered precincts across the country but did not provide evidence.
“It is wrong to claim that I don’t want a recount. I am sure of my victory. I am no cheat, and it will be better for me if this protest will be resolved sooner,” Robredo said in a dzMM interview.
“We are not delaying the recount. Our point is, where is your evidence [of poll fraud]? You can’t present evidence on a piecemeal basis because you claim that you have proof. Where is your proof, then?” Robredo added.
Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls.