Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday (Nov. 9) asked the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to inhibit Justice Marvic Leonen from handling his election protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
In his 21-page manifestation and omnibus motion, Marcos sought the inhibition of Leonen “on the ground of evident bias and manifest partiality in favor of protestee Maria Leonor Robredo.”
“In a two-part article that appeared in the The Manila Times, author Jomar Canlas claimed, in no uncertain terms, that the fate of Marcos’s election protest was already prejudged by Associate Justice Leonen before the case was assigned to him,” Marcos cited.
Marcos said that, according to the article. Leonen provided colleagues at the PET a draft of his 25-page Reflections on the electoral protest “to convince the Tribunal that the protest ought to be dismissed outright.”
The former lawmaker also criticized the recent decision of Leonen last September to ask the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for comments concerning the Marcos election protest.
“If truth be told, Associate Justice Leonen’s act in referring the matter to the Comelec and the OSG brazenly displayed his ignorance of the law which clearly puts Marcos’s case in peril. There exists an imminent threat for a miscarriage of justice which should be abated forthwith,” Marcos said.
“If Associate Justice Leonen was unsure about the PET’s jurisdiction, then he should have made inquiries a year ago, when the case was first raffled to him in October 2019,” he added.
Aside from these, Marcos reminded that Leonen had opposed to the burial of the former lawmaker’s father, late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016 and the magistrate even showed in a dissenting opinion “how much he loathed the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos and the latter’s family and friends.”
“It is common knowledge that prior to his appointment to the High Court, Associate Justice Leonen was appointed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III to head the government panel during the negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” he also noted.