The Bongbong Marcos-Leni Robredo electoral protest drama will last at least three more years before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)–the Supreme Court (SC)–reaches any decision.
Former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban came up with this estimate Sunday (December 18) in his Inquirer column.
Former senator Marcos is protesting his close loss last May to Vice President Leni Robredo. Seven months after the fact, Panganiban noted that the PET “has not even begun the revision of the ballots”.
“To do this, 1) the election documents will have to be gathered from all over the country by the Comelec with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, and 2) several revision committees—composed of regular and alternate revisors to be compensated from deposits to be paid by Marcos pursuant to PET rules—will have to be created,” he noted.
At the heart of Marcos’s petition is the supposed cheating that took place in 39,221 clustered precincts. He lost by around 260,000 vote for erstwhile Camarines Sur congresswoman Robredo.
“To revise or recount the ballots in the protested 39,221 clustered precincts (composed of 4.3 established precincts on the average) may take at least two years.
“Robredo’s counterprotest involving 8,042 clustered precincts in 13 provinces may require at least one year more,” the ex-chief magistrate reckoned.
“At this point, without judging the merits of the protest, the inevitable conclusion is that, in the normal course, it will take a few more years of hard work before we see light in the case. Incidentally, two of the brightest election lawyers are facing each other here—George Garcia for Marcos and Romulo Macalintal for Robredo,” wrote Panganiban.
The President and Vice President have a single six-year term.