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Leni beat Bongbong fair and square in ARMM — Hataman tells PET

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Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Wednesday added his voice to the clamor for the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to dismiss with finality the electoral protest of losing vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“We call on the PET to dismiss such a baseless protest,” the Mindanao lawmaker said.

“The people in the now-defunct ARMM voted according to their conscience and decisively elected Vice President Leni Robredo. She deserves to serve the people who gave her the mandate to the second highest post in the land,” he added.

The Basilan legislator cited the overwhelming victory of President Rodrigo Duterte in ARMM in 2016.

“Vice President Robredo won the hearts of the people of ARMM, and won the region’s vote alongside President Duterte. Dapat alisin na natin yung notion na laging may dayaan sa ARMM. Pag natatalo isang kandidato, dinaya. Pag nanalo, wala namang reklamo,” Hataman said.

Marcos has identified three provinces in ARMM where he claims poll fraud was committed during the 2016 presidential elections.

“He questions the validity of our votes in Basilan, where I currently serve as congressional representative, along with the votes of those in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur,” Hataman said.

He explained that the people in ARMM also voted against Marcos because of the atrocities they experienced during the time of Martial Law under the term of the elder Marcos, former president Ferdinand Marcos.

“This may be the reason Bongbong Marcos did not even campaign personally in some parts of Mindanao and ARMM, for this would require acknowledging their family’s crimes, especially those against the Bangsamoro people. All this is reflected in the votes we cast, and the choice we made in Vice President Leni Robredo,” Hataman said.

The legislator also added that as a former senator, Bongbong Marcos did not act on the measure that is now known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

“As a former chair of the Senate committee on local government, he sat on the Bangsamoro proposal until his term ended. It is but natural for the people of ARMM to remember this significant detail and express their disappointment through their vote, which Marcos now wants nullified. Fortunately, ARMM is now BARMM,” Hataman said.

“It should not be a surprise, therefore, that the people of ARMM voted for Vice President Robredo. The Bangsamoro people remembers, and Marcos seeks to annul our collective memory along with the votes he now seeks to nullify,” he added.

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