By: Xave Gregorio
Former Senator and losing 2016 vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos accused Supreme Court Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa of delaying his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo and alleged that the magistrate is biased against him.
Marcos said in a news forum in Manila on Wednesday (January 10) that Caguioa’s decisions related to his protest are “clearly unfair and unjust.”
“I do not feel that we are getting justice in the tribunal thus far with this decision of Justice Caguioa,” Marcos said.
Marcos claims Caguioa is responsible for delaying his poll protest, which has been with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) for two years.
“Magdadalawang taon na hindi pa nagsisimula ng recount. Bakit ganun? Hindi na yata tama ito. This is not the way an electoral protest is supposed to be handled especially at the presidential level,” Marcos said.
Caguioa, an appointee of former President Noynoy Aquino, was also more lenient with the Robredo camp, Marcos claims.
Marcos said he was only given four days during Holy Week to pay P36 million for the poll protest, while Robredo was allowed to repeatedly ask for an extension to gather P7 million for her counterprotest.
“Sa batas, sinasabi, pag hindi ka nagbayad dismissed na ‘yung counterprotest mo,” Marcos said.
However, he was referring to Robredo’s last installment of the P15.44 million protest fee imposed on her by the SC, sitting as the PET. Robredo had paid the first P8 million in June 2017.
Marcos also lamented how his camp was forced to gather 8,000 witnesses who will testify on election irregularities within five days, only to have the PET defer the hearing of his protest.
He also slammed his payment P7 million for ballot images, which he still is not in possession of as the PET allowed the Robredo camp access to the soft copies of the ballot images.
“Palagay ko we have to do something about it. I’m not sure what recourse we have left but the pattern of the decisions that are coming down are indicative and fairly obvious that it is biased against me and biased for my oppositor,” he said.
Marcos is mulling a petition to change the chairmanship of the PET, which is now held by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, also an Aquino appointee.