MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday the election protest of her 2016 rival, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, should be resolved to prevent it from being used as a platform for "lies."
The Supreme Court last Oct. 15 authorized the release of results of an initial recount without deciding whether or not the 3-year-old protest should proceed. Robredo's lead widened by roughly 15,000 based on the tally.
"Mas wish ko lang na dapat matuldukan na 'yong protest kasi nagiging avenue siya for spreading more lies. Nagiging platform siya para 'yong mga kasinungalingan lalong ma-propagate," she told ANC's Headstart.
(My wish is for this protest to end because it is becoming an avenue for spreading more lies. It has become a platform for lies to propagate.)
"Ako, alam ko ang totoo e. Pero siya, madami siya napapapaniwala. Mas kawawa sila e, mas kawawa napapaniwala niya sa kasinungalingan," she said.
(I know the trust. He fools more people. I pity those who believe the lies.)
Asked about her plans for the 2022 elections, Robredo said: "To think of 2022 would be a big disservice to what we're doing now."
Robredo said she would not travel for outreach projects to far-flung areas with fewer voters, if she were "all agog" about 2022.
"All of my political runs were unplanned, from the time I ran for a seat in the House up to the vice presidency, para sa akin destiny 'yon lahat e (It's destiny),"
"Whatever is given to me now, I maximize what opportunities are there," she said.
Marcos gained some 4,000 votes in the recount. If this is multiplied by 20 more provinces where he claimed he was cheated, he could gain about 80,000 votes, which would not surpass Robredo's lead of 260,000 votes, said her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal.
Aside from the 3 pilot provinces, Marcos also sought to nullify votes from 3 provinces in Mindanao due to alleged terrorism, intimidation, and harassment of voters.
"If he really won in these 3 [pilot] provinces, why would he ask for another 3 provinces?" Macalintal said.
The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, gave Robredo and Marcos until Nov. 19 to comment on the latter's bid to nullify votes in the 3 southern provinces.
This is despite SC Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio's dissenting opinions that the protest should be dismissed due to Robredo's lead growth in the initial recount.
Robredo said she would seek on Thursday a soft copy of the "voluminous" documents she was ordered to comment on because she did not have "millions" of pesos needed to photocopy the files.
"We are going to file a manifestation today stating our predicament," added Macalintal.
The Vice President also said she "could not afford to be hopeless" in the poll protest despite the "alleged personal preferences of some justices."
"Ako, hindi ko nakikitang they would go against the results of the recount. Nagkaroon ng bilangan e at iyong numero, it's not like you still need to interpret the results of the recount," she said.
(I do not see that they would go against the the results of the recount. There has been a recount and with the figures, it's not like you still need to interpret the results of the recount.)
"Having said that, I would like to believe that iyong PET and Supreme Court, will still set aside personal preferences and will always act for the integrity of the Supreme Court."