Robredo should now resign

The Supreme Court en banc is expected to vote overwhelmingly today, Oct. 8, to junk the draft report of Justice Benjamin Caguioa recommending the dismissal of the election protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

This victory is just the first step for Marcos. It means the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is convinced that rampant fraud attended the elections for the VP position in the May 16, 2016 election. It is a signal for phase two to conduct manual recount in other provinces to proceed.

Atty. Romulo Macalintal is right when he said that win or lose, Robredo would still be sitting as VP. But this decision erodes the credibility of Robredo’s victory. The PET has found evidence of fraud as claimed by Marcos. Her victory becomes empty. It is a paper victory. She stole the vice presidency from the people.

Under the circumstances, Robredo should resign. She lost all moral right to stay on as vice president. Each time she appears in public as VP, she will look repugnant to the Filipino people. This is particularly so because the latest SWS survey shows her satisfaction ratings to have dropped to 50% only. The Filipino people continue to reject her.

A BBM victory in the offing?

With four days left before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), convenes to deliberate and vote on the results of the manual recount, speculations have been flying thick, and a veteran journalist even saying it’s going to be an 8-6 vote in favor of Bongbong Marcos.

That a vote has already been taken ahead of the Oct. 8 schedule is not unusual. Justices usually signify their votes so that it can be established what the majority’s position is, and a ponente assigned to write the decision. The Oct. 8 session is more of a formality, perhaps with clarificatory questions, before the final vote is made.

Citing sources, Philippine Star columnist Federico Pascual, Jr. said the outcome is 8 justices voting to rule that fraud was uncovered in the manual recount and allow Marcos to continue with the revision of ballots in other provinces he identifies. Six voted in the negative, which basically means that there is significant fraud that could change the outcome of the elections.

It must be emphasized that this doesn’t mean that Marcos will be declared the winner, and Leni Robredo to step down. It will simply affirm what Marcos had claimed: that there was massive cheating in these pilot provinces. If the recount show lower number of votes for Robredo, and a higher number for BBM, then that would be reflected in the results.

Victory for BBM will have to wait at least one more year, that is assuming the pace of the second part of the manual revision will proceed much faster. Still, it will be a big blow on Robredo, for it will prove she had won by cheating. Her hold to her position, already shaky as it is, will grow weaker and weaker.

One more week: SC defers vote on Bongbong protest to Oct. 8

It seems the Supreme Court is being extra careful about deciding on the electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against the victory of Leni Robredo as Vice President.

Just this afternoon, veteran journalist Edu Punay tweeted that the High Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal,, had reset its deliberation and voting on the report of Justice Benjamin Caguioa on the results for the pilot provinces to Oct. 8.

This one week delay in the voting only adds to the growing suspense on the outcome of the protest.

Marcos has insisted that he lost to Robredo due to massive cheating that took place not only in the three pilot provinces, but in many other provinces of the country.

The official count showed that Robredo won by a margin of 263,473 votes, which is considered a hairline victory in the race for the second highest post of the land.

Suspense: Nation awaits verdict on Leni-Bongbong case

Like most Filipinos, I am eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s announcement on the manual recount conducted by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal for ballots cast in the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur in the May 2016 elections for Vice President.

It’s been three years since former Senator Bongbong Marcos filed a protest on the results of the elections and challenged the victory of Leni Robredo in the VP race. Based on the results, Robredo narrowly defeated Marcos by 263,473 votes. It was a hairline victory at best, and Marcos’s protest has drawn widespread belief that he is the rightful VP.

On Sept. 10, 2019, the Supreme Court spokesman, Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka, told media that the PET chaired by Justice Benjamin Caguioa, had submitted the results of its revision for the three pilot provinces. He declined to give a clue on the contents of the report.

The announcement triggered a flood of speculations in social media. Was there really fraud in these three provinces? If we look back to the revision activities during last year, there were instances when tell-tale signs of ballot boxes being compromised were discovered. The ballot boxes have security features to ensure that the contents are not manipulated or destroyed. The condition of many boxes put the integrity of the ballots in question.

We can imagine our Supreme Court Justices going over the PET report with a fine-toothed comb. As Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin said, the High Court has to go carefully on this matter because of the paramount public interest involved. But we also hope that the agonizing wait will not last too long. Filipinos want to know the truth.

Marcos needs only to prove one thing with this first phase of the protest: that indeed, cheating had taken place in the three pilot provinces. Nobody can tell as yet on just how much cheating did take place, if any. But a finding to that effect would be fatal to Robredo even if the recount’s results fail to change the result to favor Marcos.

Robredo as presidential bet in 2022: pure hallucination

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV believes that Vice President Leni Robredo is the opposition’s best bet to run as President in 2022. He described her as a “widow to be reckoned with.” Well, everybody is entitled to dream big. But this one is pure hallucination. Robredo is the worst candidate the opposition can field against the administration in the next Presidential elections.

For one thing, Robredo’s ascendancy to the Vice Presidency is shrouded in doubt amid allegations of massive cheating. Iloilo is one of the pilot provinces chosen by former Senator Bongbong Marcos in his protest for recount. I have reason to be believe the results of the elections in 2016 was manipulated to give Leni a big margin in Iloilo.

Heck, she was a total unknown in Iloilo. How could she have obtained the 573,829 votes canvassed in her favor as against Marcos’s 94,411? Bongbong Marcos has many followers in Iloilo, especially among the older voters. His wife’s family, the Aranetas, also wields considerable influence in Iloilo. Had she just won by a 100,000, that would have been more believable.

Anyway, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is reportedly set to announce the results of the recount. We’ll wait and see what the outcome is.

But to say that Robredo is presidential timber is far, far off the mark. It is a wild, wild dream of an opposition incapable of putting up a credible candidate for the Presidency. There will be no President from that side of the fence for a long, long time.

Isko Moreno for President?

Wala pang dalawang linggo si Isko Moreno bilang alkalde ng Maynila pero uma-ani na ito ng napakaraming papuri dahil sa paglinis niya sa lungsod at pag-ayos ng mga problema na matagal nang nakikita sa paligid.

Kaya hindi nakakagulat na ngayon pa lang, may mga nagpupuna na isang “presidential material” si Mayor Moreno para sa bansa sa 2022 national elections.

Pinapakita ni Mayor Moreno ang tinatawag na “political will”, ang pagtugis ng mga desisyon at hakbang na hindi nababahala kung ano man ang resbak nito galing sa mga taong apektado.

Sa napakatagal na panahon, parang naging imposible na ma-clear out ang mga lansangan sa Maynila, lalo na diyan sa Quiapo area. Naging madumi ang lungsod. Masikip ang mga lansangan na halos hindi na mada-anan ng sasakyan.

Pero sa unang araw pa lang ni Isko bilang Mayor, naipakita niya na puwede pa lang gawin ang paglinis ng Maynila at isalagay sa maayos na kalagayan ang mga street vendors upang hindi sila makaka-obstruct sa traffic.

Malayo pa ang 2022. Kung ma sustain ito ni Isko, hindi malayo na makakarinig tayo ng mas maraming paghimuk galing sa taumbayan na tumakbo siya bilang Pangulo. Kailangan lang ni Mayor Isko ang “endurance” at “sustainability” upang hindi ma diskarel ang kanyang mga programa.

 

Adios na, Trillanes

Umpisa tanghali ngayon araw, Hunyo 30, 2019, matatapos na rin ang pag-upo ni Antonio Trillanes IV bilang Senador ng Pilipinas. Milyon-milyong mga Pinoy ay pumapalakpak at nasisiya dahil sa wakas, wala na sa puwesto itong pesteng coup plotter na walang ginawa kondi lumikha ng kagulohan. Masayang-masaya ang mga tao. Walang nanghihinayang sa pag-exit ni Trillanes sa gobyerno.

Ang yabang kasi ng taong ito. Akala mo siya lang ang marunong. Na siya lang ang may kakayahan. Pero sa totoo, walang mabuting ginawa si Trillanes. At sa katapusan, kasama siya sa pag-reject ng taumbayan sa mga dilawan. Ang pagkatalo ng Otso Diretso sa May 13, 2019 elections ay patunay na walang suporta ang mga katulad ni Trillanes.

Ngayon na wala na sa puwesto si Trillanes, tignan natin kung hanggang saan ang yabang niya. Sigurado ako na uunsad ang mga kaso laban sa kanya. At dapat ipatawag siya sa Senado upang imbestigahan tungkol sa mga destabilization plot na iginuhit niya at nga mga dilawan.

Adios, Trillanes! Sa bilangguan na sana ang punta mo!

PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-CRIME-RIGHTS-TRILLANES

This photo taken on September 13, 2017 shows Philippine Senator Antonio gesturing during an interview at his office in the Senate building in Manila. After launching his political career from a jail cell, Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes believes it could end in a grave thanks to a relentless campaign against his “hitman” president. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)