"Will Robredo succeed in her grand design?"
The dismissal of the election protest filed by Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Maria Leonora Robredo carries deeper political implications. As one columnist said, the draft decision penned by a shameless classmate of the former but lackluster president, and who is now head of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, was intentionally leaked to put his colleagues in the Supreme Court on the defensive. According to Rigoberto Tiglao, the draft decision “dismissed” the petition. In effect, the magistrates will be forced to accept the shoddy decision without touching the merits of the cause of action raised by the petitioner. In that, one could surmise that the decision to dismiss is nothing more but glaring a case of “gag*han
With utmost indulgence, the decision would be some kind of judicial debauchery. The Court is dutybound to make a decision. It is its formal reply to the valid cause of action raised by the petitioner. The court has to decide; to say otherwise would be equivalent to telling the petitioner that no election took place in November 2016. The huge amount of protest fee paid to the PET just for it to do its work would now have the effect of an “extortionary” fee. The classmate should be reminded that the issue is beyond the proper counting of the ballots to determine who actually won. It will validate our democracy to which the yellow hypocrites have been shouting as their political mantra.
There is law and logic to this argument; when the court demands from the petitioner a fee for his protest or for a recount of the votes, it equally promises to litigants to do its assignment. Failing to do this, the court is morally obligated to reimburse the whole amount. This explains why this shameless classmate of the one who appointed him to that majestic court cannot just dismiss the petition without touching on the merits of the case.
To deny that would amount to absolving the respondent of all the financial liabilities poured into her office while she coyly pretends to be the elected vice president. Aside from the fact that the dismissal meant she is not guilty of the anomaly that transpired, the court then becomes an active party to this blatant swindling of litigants protesting the electoral fraud committed on them by the political rascals.
To quote columnist Tiglao of the causes of action: “Marcos filed three other causes of action, each of which could invalidate Robredo’s slim margin of 263,473 votes, which are totally independent from the examination of votes in a set of precincts in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. These are the following:
“First, that the certificates of canvas were not authentic and came from tampered votes counting machines… Second, that there was massive fraud in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao such that there was no valid in those places. And third, that there as malfunctioning of vote counting machine in 22 provinces and five highly urbanized cities. The PET which is presided by the classmate hasn’t even started an investigation of the cause’s action.”
According to Tiglao: “How could Robredo claim that the Marcos protest has been dismissed?”
There is no doubt there was manipulation to purposely delay the promulgation of the decision. This alone is an indelible marking that something fishy happened in the recounting process to favor the party who proclaimed herself as the defender of freedom of democracy. Respondent Robredo cannot admit the third cause of action—that there has been a malfunctioning of the ballot counting machines owned by Smartmatic. PET cannot admit this allegation for that would fall flat on their face that allegedly the counting machines are foolproof.
For instance, when the PET demanded the posting of P36-million protest free, the classmate knew the petitioner would have difficulty withdrawing that amount in so short a time. PET purposely issued that order on a Holy Week so that the banks would be closed. The petitioner was only given two days to comply and that was without extension. Another was the time to post the required protest free. The time to file given appears whimsical and arbitrary. Even if the Supreme Court sets its time to file the required bond, it sees to it that litigants are equally accorded time to comply and not to break the rule.
But that was not in the mind of the classmate who was dead set in wanting to derail the petition. Third, the ingratiating classmate ordered petitioner Marcos to produce 8,000 witnesses in the province of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan within five days, non-extendable. There was malice knowing that it is not easy to gather 8,000 witnesses to testify on behalf of the petitioner. Paradoxically, the classmate forgot that he is the same magistrate who also gave a go-signal to allow former communist rebels, terrorists, detainees and those who claimed to have suffered “human rights” violations be compensated without any of them testifying in court and executing affidavit in support of their claim, except for their signature as alleged victims paid by the government and not by their alleged oppressor.
Objectively, the reason why Robredo is determined to hang on to her position is the fear that a reversal of the decision could delay her timetable to capture political power. Invariably, affirming her victory could reduce Duterte to being a lameduck president. Both local and foreign investors will have second thoughts in going ahead with those projects like the construction of new airports to promote tourism, a rehabilitation of our railway line in Bicol and a new one Mindanao to provide easy access in the delivery of agricultural products, construction of new dams to improve our water system, the breaking up of the telecommunications industry by allowing another party to join the industry, and the building of more bridges and new one along Pasig River, the assurance to import our fruits and agricultural products to help our farmers.
Some suspect President Duterte is wavering whether or not to throw support in the bid of petitioner for the vice presidency as a way to ensure the continuity of his administration. Admittedly, the Duterte administration has similarity to the Marcos administration in many ways. His independent foreign policy and populist economic approach to economic development have made him overwhelmingly popular. But if he deviates from this line, that could reignite the possibility of another Edsa to justify by extra-constitutional means to scuttle all the programs initiated and entered into by the Duterte government.
Surely and expectedly, Robredo will revive the arbitration court decision to instantly renew the country’s antagonism with China, viz. to the delight of the US. Our shift to the old geopolitical order would be devastating and costly. The viability and effectiveness of the five US military bases could be revived, seeing them as our best deterrence against China. Particularly, pro-American lackeys will drumbeat alleged the encroachment by China over some of the islands in the South China Sea. There is also the possibility that the memorandum of understanding the country entered into with China could be dropped to affect our exploitation of natural gas and oil in the Reed Bank. This means we will back to getting crumbs as our share in the exploitation of our own resources.
Should Robredo succeed in her grand-design with the active sponsorship of the US, all the plans of President Duterte will all end in a junkyard. The grim prospect is not about the non-viability of the projects but of the startling truth that she is the next leader being groomed by the US to lead under the renewed auspices of pax Americana.