Bongbong mulls poll protest after losing to Leni

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2016 10:59 PM

Senator Bongbong Marcos and incoming Vice-President Leni Robredo

MANILA - A possible electoral protest has cast a shadow on incoming Vice-President Leni Robredo's impending proclamation.

The camp of Senator Bongbong Marcos is considering filing an electoral protest case against Robredo once she is proclaimed vice-president-elect.

Marcos' lawyer, George Garcia, said it is one of the options that their camp has been considering since last week. 

"Ang sinasabi namin, pinag-aaralan namin ano ang mga probinsiya na may posibilidad na nagkaroon ng malawakang dayaan," he said.

Garcia added that their repeated manifestation during the canvassing of the undervotes in the vice-presidential race, which he said was about 3.9 million undervotes, could be part of their protest. 

"We are trying to lay down the proper predicate for the filing of (an) election protest. Kung saka-sakali, siyempre kasama po iyun sa isa sa mga ia-allege namin sa election protest. Nasaan ang 4 milyong boto ng ating mga kababayan sa position ng vice-president? Hindi naman po siguro pangit itanong iyun eh," he said.

Garcia said a final decision on the possible electoral protest can be made next week.

He said that under the law, they have two months from proclamation day to lodge an electoral protest. "Sa kasalukuyan po, pangungulekta lang ng ebidensiya. Madami po, 'di lang namin nadala dito sa canvassing but hindi naman po pupuwedeng ipakita iyun. Bawal pong ipakita sa board of canvassers dahil hindi naman po iyun ang kanilang katungkulan."

"Bilang pagrespeto sa board of canvassers, hindi tamang body ito, hindi tamang venue ito kaya hihintayin na lang ang proper venue," he added.

"Mayroong nawawala na mga bumoto sa Ilocos Norte, bailiwick ni Sen. Marcos, 14,000 Ilocano ang hindi bumoto sa vice-president. Maaring 'di sila boboto for president, but definitely an Ilocano will always vote for the vice-president for Bongbong Marcos," he claimed.

Robredo's lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, however dismissed the Marcos camp's allegation regarding undervotes. 

"Laging sinasabi ko, abstention lang iyon. Ibig sabihin, iyung mga botante na bumoto ay hindi bumoto para sa nasabing position at yun ay nangyayari sa lahat ng positions. Sa president, sa vice-president, senators, lahat ng position laging mayroong undervotes kaya hindi dapat ikabahala sapagkat walang kinalaman iyan sa sinasabing kung may dayaan o anumang anomalya na nangyari sa halalan. Kahit manual election, merong ding mga undervotes," he explained.

Macalintal also dismissed observations regarding different figures in the presidential and vice-presidential races. "Magkakaiba talaga iyun dahil sa lalo na dito, iba't ibang partido, ibat ibang grupo ang nagsamasama kaya talagang 'di magtutugma."

Macalintal said Robredo doesn't have a reason to miss her own proclamation. "Palagay ko naman, mag-aattend sapagkat iyang proclamation, bahagi iyan ng proseso bagamat hindi iyan required by law, 'di naman inaatas ng batas na ikaw ay dapat nariyan sa proclamation pero iyan ay hinihintay ng taongbayan."

He said the proclamation may likely be held early next week. "Sa Monday, magkakakaroon na siguro, gagawa na ng report itong joint committee at sa Tuesday baka magkaroon na ng joint public session para iapruba ang nasabing report and at the same time magkaroon na ng proclamation of the winning candidates."

Asked about the Marcos camp's possible electoral protest, Macalintal said, "Siyempre, ginagalang ko kung anumang aksyon ang gagawin ng kampo ni Sen. Bongbong Marcos. Iyun ay bahala sila sapagkat sila ang nakakaalam kung dapat silang magprotesta o hindi, pero anuman ang kanilang gagawin, siyempre ihahanda din namin ang aming sarili kung sakaling kami pa rin ang kukunin ni [Robredo] in the event na magkaroon nga ng election protest."