PET majority of 11 overrules Caguioa report on poll protest

The dissenting opinion of two justices of the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, does not constitute a ruling of the PET but the decision adopted by the majority of 11 magistrates who voted to reject the report of justice-in-charge Benjamin Caguioa, the Marcos camp said Sunday.

The report by justice-in-charge Benjamin Caguioa seeks to dismiss the poll protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesman, also lashed out at the Robredo camp for allegedly trying to eclipse the actual ruling of the majority of the PET members that would pave the way for the resolution of the Marcos’ third cause of action.

He said the Marcos camp seeks to annul the result of the elections held in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao, but it was covered up by the minority opinion written by Caguiao, which was backed only by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and projecting it as if it was the actual decision of the tribunal.

“And the same decisive 11-2 vote ordered to open what the Robredo camp feared most―the third cause of action which will prove that terrorism and massive poll fraud in the three provinces of Mindanao contributed to her proclamation as vice president, Rodriguez said, in a statement.

Rodriquez said “that’s the reason why Leni and the yellow gangland are obviously in panic mode over the PET’s resolution ordering both parties of the poll protest to comment within 20 days on Marcos’ motion (from the day he filed the protest in 2016) to nullify the ballots in the provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.”

Rodriguez also accused the camp of Robredo of receiving information from her “deep throat” in the PET, which apparently prompted her camp to claim victory even before the PET decided on the committee report submitted by Caguiao before the tribunal.

“Through her highly placed deep throat in the Tribunal, Robredo was receiving advanced information which she used in claiming a “fake victory in the recount without understanding first the contents of the PET’s October 15, 2019 resolution, Rodriguez said.

He said the resolution clearly implied that  11 of the PET’s 13 voting magistrates did not believe in Caguioa’s report and the opinion on the results of the manual recount of which Robredo and her lawyers were peddling bias and lopsided interpretations.

“And precisely why the majority of the Tribunal, by a very decisive 11-2 vote, emphatically junked that Caguioa minority opinion favoring Robredo finding the figures presented before them  to be outrageous and, instead, ordered the election protest to proceed with both parties to file their comments and memoranda, including comments for the nullification of the votes in the provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, Rodriquez said

The Marcos camp also downplayed the impact of the dissenting opinion of Caguiao and Carpio who voted for the dismissal of the election protest against Robredo on grounds the protestant failed to obtain substantial recovery during the manual recount of the pilot provinces, citing pertinent PET Rule 65.

In their dissenting opinion, Caguioa  and Carpio voted to dismiss the election protest filed by Marcos against Robredo, saying Robredo’s lead over Marcos increased from 263,473 to 278,566 after an initial manual recount of three pilot provinces chosen by the protestant, up by 15,093 votes.

However, the Marcos camp disparaged the minority opinion of the justice-in-charge, saying majority of the PET members disagreed with their proposition and instead opted to proceed with the election protest by ordering the parties to file their comment on the report in the three pilot provinces, and to submit memoranda relating to the third cause of action sought by Marcos seeking the annulment of election results for the vice presidential race in the three Mindanao provinces.

“Precisely why the majority of the Tribunal by a very decisive 11-2 vote emphatically junked that Caguioa minority opinion favoring Mrs. Leni Robredo finding the figures presented before them to be outrageous and ordered the election protest to proceed with the parties to file their Comment and Memoranda, Rodriguez said.

“It only confirmed our suspicion that Mrs. Robredo’s premature celebration and claim of another fake victory in the Tribunal was a product of advance information she’s been receiving all along and that she has a deep throat.

The Marcos camp issued the statement after the PET made public on Friday its resolution and the dissenting opinion of Caguiao and Carpio showing that Robredo’s lead over Marcos increased by as many as 15,000 votes after the initial recount in the election protest the latter filed.

In his dissenting opinion, Caguioa said the initial recount even increased Robredo’s lead over Marcos where the vice president got 14,436,325 votes, increasing her lead from 263,473 to 278,555 over Marcos, who obtained 14,157,770 votes.

“The Tribunal retrieved thousands of ballot boxes from three provinces, revised millions of ballots, and ruled on each and every objection and claim of the parties on these millions of ballots. After all these, the Tribunal eventually arrived at a final tally,” Caguioa dissenting opinion said.

Topics: Supreme Court , Presidential Electoral Tribunal , Benjamin Caguioa , Ferdinand Marcos Jr. , Leni Robredo
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