Robredo admits getting nervous as decision on VP poll protest nears

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Vice President Leni Robredo hopes for a favorable ruling from the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on the poll protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — Vice President Leni Robredo said she expects a favorable ruling on the poll protest pending before the Supreme Court, but that she could not help but feel anxious as the camp of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. has been claiming victory ahead of next week's voting.

Robredo said she has been anticipating the resolution of Marcos' electoral protest, especially after the high court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) finished recounting ballots in three pilot areas earlier this year.

"Hindi kasi natin pwedeng pangunahan 'yung korte, hindi ko rin pwedeng i-discuss 'yung kaso. But we hope for a favorable decision considering na alam namin kung ano 'yung nangyari during the entire process," Robredo told reporters at the sidelines of the 30th National Statistics Month celebration on Tuesday morning.

[Translation: We cannot decide for the court and I cannot discuss the case, but we hope for a favorable decision considering that we know what happened during the entire process.]

Robredo was proclaimed vice president three years ago with a lead of 263,473 votes against Marcos during the May 2016 elections. The recount began in April 2018, two years after Marcos filed his poll protest. In June, Robredo asked the PET to declare her as winner as her lead rose by about 15,000 from the recount in three provinces. However, the PET dismissed the petition in July since it has not released the final tally at the time.

Robredo added that while she is assured given the turnout of the ballot recount, she remains anxious about the PET's ruling. The high court postponed its ruling on Marcos' poll protest set Tuesday, with the possible voting moved to October 8.

Robredo added that while she is assured given the turnout of the ballot recount, she remains anxious about the PET's ruling.

"Sa atin kasi, 'yung pagde-desisyon ay base sa datos so hindi natin nakikita na pwedeng maging unfavorable. Pero of course, kinakabahan din tayo kasi nagke-claim sila (Marcos) ng victory, so baka may alam sila na hindi natin alam," the sitting Vice President added. 

[Translation: For us, the decision is based on data so we don't see how it will turn unfavorable. But of course, we're nervous because they (Marcos) are claiming victory, so they might know something that we don't.]

READ: Robredo hits back at false reports on result of VP poll protest

More than the assurance of staying in the second-highest seat in the land, Robredo said the PET decision will put an end to supposed black propaganda which she said is being sowed by the Marcos camp to ruin her image.

She added that the landmark ruling is "bigger than the both of us," as it also illustrates the integrity of the local elections and the judicial system.

"Kailangan tayong magtiwala kasi ito 'yung electoral process na nagpanalo sa amin ni Presidente, nagpanalo ng mga nakaupo na officials ngayon. So kapag hindi natin pinaniwalaan 'yung electoral process, parang sinasabi natin na lahat ng nakaupo ngayon, huwad," Robredo said.

[Translation: We need to trust the system because this electoral process declared me and the President as winners, as well as all incumbent officials. If we do not believe the electoral process, it's like we're saying that everyone in power now is a fraud.]

SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said on September 10 that all 15 members of the high court have been given copies of the poll recount report prepared by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, but are yet to decide on Marcos' poll protest.

Chief Justice: No 'foot dragging' in Marcos' electoral protest vs. Robredo

The recount result will determine whether Marcos' protest will be dismissed, or will merit expanding the scope of recount to other areas beyond Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur, the latter being Robredo's bailiwick.

CNN Philippines Correspondent AC Nicholls contributed to this report.