THE Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, acted on Tuesday on the election protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. seeking to nullify the proclamation of Vice President Leni Robredo.
A Court insider disclosed that the justices deliberated on Marcos’ poll protest and decided to require Robredo to comment on the allegation that her election was tainted with irregularities.
While the Court’s spokesman Theodore Te admitted that the tribunal had acted on the Marcos protest, he declined to offer any specifics.
In a media briefing, Te said he was only authorized to announce that the tribunal will issue a resolution on this matter in due course.
The PET is composed of the same 15 Supreme Court justices as its members.
In his protest filed last June 29, Marcos questioned the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts in 25 provinces and five cities all over the country involving some nine million votes.
Marcos lost to Robredo by a margin of 263,473 votes in the final and official tally of votes. He garnered 14,155,344 votes while Robredo got a total of 14,418, 817 votes.
Marcos sought the nullification of about a million votes cast in three provinces—Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao—over claims of massive cheating.
Marcos also asked the PET to order the reopening of ballots and manual recount of about eight million votes in 23 provinces and five cities.
Marcos sought the annulment of the proclamation of Robredo as vice president and his declaration as duly elected vice president.
It was earlier learned that the case has been raffled to Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the last appointee and known buddy of former President Benigno Aquino III, who is tasked to study the protest and submit recommendations for actions of the PET.
Caguioa and Aquino were classmates from elementary to college at the Ateneo de Manila University. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court in January, Caguioa was Aquino’s chief presidential legal counsel and then secretary of justice.
Aquino had earlier vowed to do all he could to stop Marcos from being elected vice president.
Aquino’s sister, actress Kris Aquino, was the top campaign contributor of Robredo in the polls.
The Aquinos and Marcoses are known political rivals.