Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta is hoping for the Presidential Election Tribunal (PET) to resolve the election protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. before the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) in 2021.
During an online press briefing, CJ Peralta said: “The Supreme Court would like that all election cases should be terminated before the end of the term. That is the policy of the court.”
He emphasized that has called on the magistrates to remind them of this policy. He added: “It would be still be better, sabi ko sa kanila (I told them), that cases should be decided before the filing of certificates of candidacy which (will be in) October 2021.”
Peralta also mentioned that before he was appointed as chief justice by President Rodrigo Duterte, he served as the chairman of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
He pointed out: “During the 17th Congress I headed that office. All the cases were resolved before I left in June 2019.”
The election protest
The protest was filed by Marcos before the PET to contest his defeat in the 2016 elections to Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo due to alleged irregularities in the conduct of the polls.
In the protest filing, Marcos wanted the PET to void the proclamation of Robredo, recount and revise ballots in 36,465 protested clustered precincts, and nullify election results for vice president in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan due to alleged terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts.
Revision of ballots in Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental, three pilot provinces that Marcos himself selected, has been completed by the PET.
In response to the protest, Robredo called on the PET to dismiss Marcos’ protest for allegedly failing to present any substantial recovery of ballots in the three pilot provinces. Marcos asked the tribunal to re-examine the results.