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Robredo ally ‘disheartened’ by PET action on poll protest

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 2/16/2017 Merueñas, Mark
Kiko Pangilinan © Provided by GMA News Online Kiko Pangilinan

Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday wondered how the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), arrived at the decision to proceed with the poll protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo. 

The senator said he was "disheartened" by the PET resolution which said that the "sufficiency" of Marcos’s protest "is already beyond dispute." 

"However, we wonder how the protest was found to be sufficient in form and substance when, until now, no discrepancy in the election results have been presented?" said Pangilinan, Robredo's partymate in the former ruling Liberal Party. 

"There seems to be a disconnect between the supposed sufficiency in substance, and the blatant lack of evidence to support their claims," he added. 

According to the PET, Marcos' protest contained narrations of "ultimate facts" on the alleged irregularities and anomalies in the contested clustered precincts, which the former senator needs to prove "in due time."

"The protest is only sufficient for the Tribunal to proceed and give the protestant the opportunity to prove his case in accordance with the 2010 PET Rules," the resolution stated.

"While the Tribunal finds the protest sufficient in form and substance, it must be emphasized that, as to the veracity of the protestant’s allegations, nothing yet has been proved," said the PET.

Robredo's camp echoed the tribunal's words, saying the denial of their plea to dismiss Marcos' poll protest at the outset is just a procedural matter. 

"It does not in any way reflect the validity or merits of any allegation of fraud or irregularity contesting the proclamation of Vice President Leni Robredo," said Robredo's legal counsel Romulo Macalintal.

Macalintal added the case would still go through "tedious and lengthy" process of revision and recount of the ballots. — MDM, GMA News

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