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

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Vice President Leni Robredo (L) and former Senator Bongbong Marcos (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Wednesday assured the public there is no “foot dragging” in the electoral protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Bersamin said the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), need to be “very careful what to decide.”

"I know the impatience of the public about this case of the VP being protested but we should also be careful of what we do here because the credibility of our processes as well as the political system here is at stake so dahan dahan kami (we're taking it slowly)," Bersamin told reporters.

The PET in July dismissed Robredo's petition seeking to resolve the poll protest filed by Marcos.

Robredo was proclaimed Vice President three years ago after clinching a lead of 263,473 votes against Marcos during the May 2016 elections. The recount began in April 2018, two years after Marcos brought his electoral protest to the Supreme Court.

The pilot areas chosen for the recount are Iloilo, Camarines Sur — Robredo's bailiwick — and Negros Oriental. Following the recount in these areas, Robredo claimed that her lead even increased by about 15,000. The PET took note of Robredo's computation, but stressed that they cannot decide yet on the case.

The PET said they still have to complete and release the final tally of votes after the recount. The result of the recount in these pilot areas will decide whether Marcos' protest will be dismissed, or will merit expanding the scope of the recount to other locations.