Marcos trying to bend rules in electoral protest, Robredo camp claims

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Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo. (PhilStar file photos)

MANILA, Philippines — Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been accused by the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo of trying to circumvent the rules to rig the election protest he filed.

A statement from Robredo’s media bureau claimed that Marcos’ insistence on adding three more provinces to the three he original chose to be pilot areas for the technical examination of election documents also “demonstrates the weakness of his case.”

Marcos had earlier chosen Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negos Oriental as the three pilot provinces that would best prove his claim of fraud in last year’s election.

“Under the rules, failure to show sufficient recovery in these pilot provinces warrants the dismissal of the protest,” Robredo’s camp noted.

However, after choosing the three provinces, “Marcos deviously moved to add three additional pilot provinces — Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur — beyond the required number of pilot provinces and in violation of the rules,” it added.

Although this was rejected by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on August 29, calling the inclusion of the three additional provinces “premature,” Marcos has continued to insist on adding them to the pilot provinces, the statement said.

In a comment fled October 12, Robredo’s lawyers, Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo said not only did Marcos’ persistence show the weakness of his case, he was also “trying to circumvent the rules by adding the three ARMM provinces under the guise of asking only for the technical examination of election paraphernalia.”

“Circumvention of the law is never countenanced as it is a clear sign of bad faith,” Macalintal was quoted in the statement. “And courts should not assist someone like Marcos in achieving an improper purpose.”