Tribunal junks motions to remove Justice Leonen from VP poll protest case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 17)— The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has junked the motions to inhibit Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen from participating in the deliberations on former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ ongoing electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

This was confirmed on Tuesday by the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court, which sits as the PET.

The SC said the tribunal voted unanimously against the motions — which were consecutively filed by Marcos and Solicitor General Jose Calida on Nov. 9.

The tribunal also directed Calida and Manila Times reporter Jomar Canlas, whose reports were cited in the motions, to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt.

Marcos earlier denied having any kind of communication with Calida prior to the filing of their motions to inhibit Leonen, which Robredo’s camp questioned for having the same arguments and even similarly-worded sentences.

In his motion, Marcos had cited the magistrate’s supposed bias in favor of Robredo, who beat him by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls. He also accused Leonen of sitting on the case for months.

The former senator officially lodged the protest on June 30, 2016, questioning the results of the previous elections.

Initial recount results — released in October 2019— in the pilot provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur showed that Robredo’s lead grew by around 15,000 votes. Marcos had then asked the tribunal to reassess these results.