With Bongbong’s poll protest stuck, Imee Marcos steps up to the plate

(L-R) Former Senator Bongbong Marcos, VP Leni Robredo, and Governor Imee Marcos (Photos: www.kb.org.ph.com / www.untvweb.com)

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent

The family left behind by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos could not come to terms with what it considers an imminent loss for former Sen. Bongbong in his electoral protest against Vice-president Leni Robredo, and so the would-be political dynasty wants to install locos Norte Gov. Imee as the new Marcos in the national office.

“There should be another Marcos in the national office,” declared Imee at the Panagbenga or Baguio Flower Festival which was also the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA people power revolution.

This apparently indicates that the Marcos family was practically acceding to Bongbong’s loss in the poll protest now being heard by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

“The electoral protest filed by Bongbong has not advanced and so one of his other siblings may be forced to seek national office, like me,” said Imee, adding “That’s what the family is contemplating.”

The Marcoses returned in 1989, just three years after their exile and went back soon to politics, winning elections for local positions. It was only Bongbong who won an election for a national post as senator.

Imee and Bongbong spoke at a program in Burnham Park. Imee said credit should go to her father for Baguio landmarks like the Marcos Highway, Baguio Convention Center and Baguio Botanical Garden.

The SC, sitting as PET, said in the resolution: “Further, considering that the revision process is about to commence, the Tribunal directs both protestant and protestee to observe the sub judice rule.”

The sub judice rule prohibits parties in a case and their lawyers from making comments and disclosures concerning on-going judicial proceedings to avoid pre-empting the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.

“Fair and accurate reporting of what actually took place in open court are excluded from its coverage,” explained Marcos’ lawyer and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez.

Robredo’s legal counsel Bernadette Sardillo said they will fully abide by the PET’s latest order.

The PET issued the sub judice rule reminder a week after both the Marcos and Robredo camps publicly traded barbs over the supposed delay in the electoral protest.

Marcos dared Robredo to withdraw “all and any pending motions” before the PET so the ballot recount could finally begin. The Robredo camp initially dismissed Marcos’ challenge, saying they had no pending motions but lead counsel Romulo Macalintal eventually agreed to take it on.

The Marcos camp produced a “joint manifestation” signed by Marcos himself, while the Robredo camp produced a “joint motion” signed by Macalintal. Both camps refused to sign the other’s document.

Days later, the Vice-president’s camp formally filed a motion before the PET withdrawing any motions that could potentially delay the electoral protest.

But in the same February 13 resolution, the PET ruled the Robredo camp has not filed any motions that could or would delay the ballot recount process.

Robredo defeated Marcos by just 263,473 votes during the 2016 elections.

Marcos claimed he was cheated and filed an electoral protest.

Recently, Marcos has been accusing the PET of alleged “unfair treatment” towards him. He also claims Robredo supposedly colluded with the Commission on Elections and vote-counting machines manufacturer Smartmatic, pointing to “questionable” square marks on the ballot images.

Those square marks, however, were established as merely a new feature of the ballot introduced in 2016. The ballot recount for the vice-presidential electoral protest is set to begin on March 19.