Palace respects PET ruling on Marcos’ poll protest

Malacañang said Tuesday it respects the decision of the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to dismiss the electoral protest lodged by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“We respect that and we respect also the camp of Senator Bongbong Marcos to seek further remedy by moving for reconsideration,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka announced Tuesday that all 15 Supreme Court justices unanimously voted to dismiss vice presidential poll protest filed by Marcos against Robredo.

On June 29, 2016, Marcos filed an electoral protest before the PET to challenge Robredo’s win in the vice presidential elections held the same year.

Marcos claimed Robredo defeated him in the 2016 vice presidential race by some 263,473 votes due to alleged “massive cheating.”

In a separate statement, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the PET’s unanimous decision appears to validate Robredo’s win “on the basis of law and of the evidence presented before it by both parties.”

“Perforce, rule of law has prevailed. Due process was evidently observed with both parties having been given the opportunity to present their respective cases. As a general rule, the electorate’s decision is to be accorded the stamp of correctness. Every rule however by universal practice admits of an exception,” he said.

While Marcos, his camp, and supporters may view the ruling as “incorrect,” they have no choice but to accept the PET’s decision “no matter how wrong or unacceptable to them,” Panelo said.

“That is the rule of the majority. We have to abide by the precepts of democracy. We cannot be blinded by our personal biases for a particular candidate. That is how democracy works. The minority must submit and concede to the majority,” he added.