By Rjay Zuriaga Castor


Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo implored the public to respect the Supreme Court (SC) decision rejecting the poll protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo. 

According to Panelo, the people, including the losing party, should respect the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). 

“The fact of unanimity of decision by the PET appears to validate VP Robredo’s win on the basis of law and of the evidence presented before it by both parties,” Panelo said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Perforce, rule of law has prevailed. Due process was evidently observed with both parties having been given the opportunity to present their respective cases… The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has spoken. It behooves everyone to abide by it. And so we must,” he added. 

The court's spokesperson Brian Hosaka said all 15 magistrates voted, with seven fully concurring with the dismissal while eight concurred with the poll protest result. He, however, did not disclosed the names on who was the ponente, or the justice who penned the decision. 

Marcos, who lost the 2016 vice presidential race, lodged the poll protest against Robredo on June 30, 2016. The son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos questioned the results of the May 2016 polls where Robredo defeated him by 263,473 votes.

He cited three causes of action in the protest case, namely the annulment of Robredo’s proclamation, recount of ballots in certain areas; and annulment of poll results in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan over alleged terrorism, alleged harassment of voters, and pre-shading of ballots. 

Panelo noted that the people must also abide by the “precepts of democracy” especially during elections. He said supporters of the losing party as well as those who voted for the losing candidate  must accept the verdict regardless if it is unacceptable to them. “That is the rule of the majority,” he added.

Panelo also urged people not to be blinded by the personal biases for a candidate. “That is how democracy works. The minority must submit and concede to the majority,” he said.

Besides, Panelo said there would always be the next elections to win over the support of the Filipinoz.

“There is always another election to vindicate one’s loss or validate forever one’s rejection by the voting population,” he said.

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