By Dane Angelo M. Enerio
THE Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has dismissed former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.’s request to probe a swimming trip attended by several PET personnel and a revisor of Vice President Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo.
In a six-page notice released on Friday, the Tribunal said that it “has already commenced and concluded its investigation.”
Mr. Marcos, who lost his vice-presidential bid to Ms. Robredo, claimed in a manifestation submitted on Monday, July 9 the trip was a “conspiracy” used by Ms. Robredo’s camp to “infiltrate” the PET in their ongoing election recount.
Ms. Robredo, however, noted both of their camps were invited to the trip, with Mr. Marcos allegedly sending snacks ahead of the June 22 trip in Pansol, Laguna.
Following Mr. Marcos’s motion, Ms. Robredo last Wednesday, July 11, urged the PET in a counter-manifestation to release CCTV footage to prove her claim.
In response to the PET notice, Ms. Robredo, through lawyer Emil Marañon III, said, “this is precisely why we filed the counter-manifestation. We knew that Marcos knew about what the revisors did. Again, this is part of their PR (public relations) stunt to confuse the Filipino public with lies and hide the truth.”
Lawyer Victor Rodriguez, Mr. Marcos’s spokesperson, said in a statement, “[w]e are completely surprised and quite shocked with the pronouncement of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal that an investigation on the highly improper Pansol outing had already been conducted and concluded.”
In a separate development, the PET has given the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ten days to comment on Ms. Robredo’s motion to impose a 25% ballot shading threshold in her ongoing vice presidential election recount against Mr. Marcos, the losing candidate.
According to the PET’s Friday notice, the court in a July 10 resolution took note but did not act on Ms. Robredo’s motion to give the Comelec five days to comment following Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida’s decision to drop the election body as its client in the case.
Ms. Robredo’s camp claimed the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) already had a total of 46 days to prepare submit its comment in behalf of the Comelec before dropping them on July 6.
They added the Comelec can submit their comment within five days because they implemented the 2016 the Automatic Election System used in the 2016 national and local elections.