The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the motion filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who asked the tribunal to compel Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to inhibit himself from participating as justice-in-charge of his election complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Marcos and the Office of the Solicitor General had sought the recusal of Leonen, both citing his alleged bias and partiality. Both motions accused Leonen of deliberately delaying the resolution of the election protest that Marcos filed against Robredo in 2016.
But in a resolution, the Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, denied both motions.
The PET also required the OSG and a reporter of the Manila Times to explain why they should not be cited in contempt.
It was unclear, however, what triggered the show-cause order.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesman, said: "It is unfortunate that after sitting on the election protest for almost a year, the ponente in charge continues to cling to the case. We are hopeful that the PET will act as swiftly and as decidedly as it did with Justice Leonen’s inhibition and decide our election protest expeditiously."
The camps of Robredo and Calida had yet to comment as of presstime.
Sources told the Standard they were waiting to see the actual resolution, as they only received a three-paragraph briefer from the PET.
Leonen took over as justice-in-charge of the election protest case more than 11 months ago.
In its motion, the OSG cited two laws that require an election protest to be decided from 12 to 20 months after a case has been filed.
The election protest filed by Marcos against Robredo in 2016 has three causes of action—annulment of the proclamation of Robredo; recount and revision of ballots in 36,465 protested clustered precincts; and annulment of election results for the vice president in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan on the ground of alleged terrorism; intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts.
In his protest, Marcos named the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental as his pilot areas for the recount and revision of ballots.
In its Oct. 15, 2019 resolution issued after the recount and revision of ballots in the three pilot provinces, the PET said.
“Based on the final tally after revision and appreciation of the votes in the pilot provinces, protestee Robredo maintained, as in fact she increased her lead with 14,436,337 votes over protestant Marcos who obtained 14,157,771 votes. After the revision and appreciation, the lead of protestee Robredo increased from 263,473 to 278,566.”
Marcos, in his memorandum filed early this year, asked the PET to proceed with the process of annulling the results of the elections in three Mindanao provinces. He also asked the tribunal to re-examine the results of the appreciation of ballots conducted in his pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
However, Robredo asked the PET to dismiss Marcos’ protest for his alleged failure to present any substantial recovery of ballots in the three pilot provinces.