February 3, 2023

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), unanimously junked for lack of merit the electoral protest filed by Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo after losing by 263,473 votes.
Eight justices have agreed with the outcome of the case written by Baguio boy and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen but they did not necessarily agree with the reasons behind. Seven of them fully concurred with the reason and the result. At the end of the day, the vote of 15-0 is a virtual knockout, which even a Law student worth his while would tell his client that the same was irreversible, over and done with, and time to move on.
The SC has decided that the issues raised were without merit.
The first issue: That the automated election system was compromised, hence its integrity cannot be relied upon to declare a legitimate winner.
Second: There was fraud in the conduct of the 2016 vice presidential election and prayed for a recount of the results in the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. A recount of votes in the three provinces, however, widened Robredo’s win by more than 15,000 votes.
Third: Annulment of the elections held in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan due to terrorism, intimidation, harassment of voters, as well as pre-shading of ballots and here, he surpassed Leni’s lead as she stands to lose 497,985 votes in three Mindanao provinces.
All were answered in the negative and thrown out.
The Gods of Padre Faura have spoken, unanimously at that. Reality dictates that the vote can never be overturned and my unsolicited advice to Bong-git, as we called him in the Lower House then, is: Resurgemus, sed adhuc accipere ruinam (Accept the fall and rise again.) Fight another day, apo!
As the Latin legal maxim says, “Duo gradus deinceps gradumretro (One step backwards two steps forward). Time to move on and prepare for 2022 and maybe your destiny will show.
By the way, Justice Leonen, who now chairs the techie 2021 Bar examinations, was former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law and was presidential adviser. He is one of the five nominees to replace Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta who is retiring next month.
Baguio City would be proud to have his son become the primus inter pares or first among co-equals. Reality, however, says otherwise, unless some sort of miracle happens. Leonen is identified with the “yellow army/dilawans” and the dream will remain an impossible dream.
The SC on Jan. 12, in voting unanimously to grant all benefits to the widow of the late ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona, expressed its sentiments: “The rule of law should not stand parallel to the rule of the mob and in the statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth should not be used as “a political weapon for vendetta.”
The world out there says differently. Sigh.

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