“My, aren’t we getting desperate.”
Outgoing Vice President and soon-to-be “suddenly retired politician” Leni Robredo should be reminded that notwithstanding her having been proclaimed the winner in the 2016 vice presidential election, her so-called “victory” remains highly suspect because of the many anomalies that haunt it.
Robredo, who finds it difficult to speak in complete English and who passed the Bar examination on her second take, was an inconsequential, two-bit congressional politician from Bicol who was the last-minute Liberal Party (LP) bet for vice president in 2016.
While her running mate was soundly defeated by President Rodrigo Duterte, Robredo managed to win in the computerized counting, and got proclaimed with a lead of a measly 200,000 votes over her rival, ex-Senator Bongbong Marcos (BBM).
In the many days following the actual election, BBM was leading by more than a million ballots in the official tally. Eventually, the voting machines of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) surprisingly caught up and indicated Robredo as the winner.
Robredo isn’t really the people’s choice. She was installed as vice president by the Comelec’s questionable Smartmatic voting machines, and by the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in the wake of the election protest BBM filed against Robredo in 2016.
The credibility of Smartmatic is seriously disputed in many countries. That anomaly notwithstanding, Smartmatic voting machines were acquired by the Comelec which was then headed by the former lawyer of then President Noynoy Aquino, the LP boss in 2016, for that year’s polls.
Election observers noted that while the tallying was likely rigged in favor of Robredo, President Duterte could not be cheated of his victory because he had far too many votes which even computerized cheating could not overcome.
Smartmatic officials who “monitored” the 2016 elections were housed at Novotel Hotel in Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. It’s the same hotel that housed the LP general headquarters. Novotel is owned by the family of Mar Roxas, Robredo’s defeated presidential running mate in the 2016 elections.
On election day, the media reported that several Smartmatic voting machines were kept in some rooms of the hotel. After a delayed investigation at the hotel, then Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said no voting machines were found there. By the Comelec’s own admission, however, not all of the rooms of the hotel were inspected.
In November 2017, Bautista went abroad. He’s now a fugitive from justice.
As for the PET, suffice it to say that at the start of the proceedings of the election protest filed by BBM, the election protest was assigned to a Justice whose wife is a staunch partisan supporter of Robredo and the LP. This Justice refused to inhibit himself from the case despite his wife’s close ties to the Robredo camp. You can easily figure out the rest of the story.
A news report also revealed that in July 2018, during the pendency of BBM’s election protest, several PET personnel in charge of the manual recount of ballots in the election protest attended an outing in Laguna sponsored by Robredo. They socialized with Robredo’s own partisan representatives in the election protest.
Although the PET said it investigated the incident, nothing came of it.
In February 2021, after a lapse of almost five years, the PET dismissed BBM’s election protest. BBM decided against taking the case to the SC because the PET is composed of the justices of the SC, and it is unlikely for the SC to overturn its own decision. Besides, with the election just a year and a half away, the effort is pointless.
The PET was given a budget during the pendency of BBM’s election protest. Now that BBM’S election protest has been resolved with finality, the PET should be functus officio, which means that it should no longer be receiving any operating funds from the government. With many Filipinos starving and unemployed, the Commission on Audit (COA) should make sure that the PET is no longer getting any budget.
Attention, COA! Attention, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo!
The surveys show that BBM is the frontrunner in the presidential elections. That’s good, because as President, BBM should scrutinize the budget of the PET and ascertain if it still receives public money even after the BBM election protest has been done with.
Likewise, the same surveys reveal that Robredo and her vice presidential running mate Francis Pangilinan are so far behind, that even the surveys’ third placer team, the conceited and bumbling Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso and his daydreaming running mate Willie Ong, are predicting a big loss for the Robredo-Pangilinan ticket.
News reports have it that Robredo and Pangilinan have become so desperate in their campaign that they have formed an alliance with the local communists and their sympathizers in Congress.
Talagang kumakapit na sa patalim sina Robredo at Pangilinan. Tsk, tsk