By: Elena Grace Flores
Comelec’s explanation to the Supreme Court that sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) dismays the Marcos Camp. The Supreme Court orders the poll body to shed light on the missing ballot images. This is in the ongoing protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos. The agency blames the teachers instead. Thus triggers some Marcos loyalists to make a move.
YouTube video by JUNRIEL LLANDER[VIDEO]: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnWM-ap6ME9WQARrkyUs84A
Not Seeking for the Truth
“The sparse explanation given by the Comelec to the PET just shows their lack of interest in finding out the reason for the disappearance of those ballot images. Blaming the teachers who just did what they were told is quite lame. Its nothing but a convenient excuse on their part,” said Marcos’ spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez.
Comelec’s Answer to the Supreme Court
As part of their explanation to the Supreme Court, the Comelec made reference to its internal memorandum dated July 22, 2019. It said that “The audit logs obtained during the decryption of the SD cards of the above-stated clustered precincts reveal that the Electoral Boards (EBs) used the ‘REZERO’ command. This was before shutting down the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs). As a result, all the reports and ballot images stored in the SD cards were permanently deleted.”
Blaming the Teachers
According to the Comelec, the teachers (Electoral Board) were told “to only use the “REZERO” command during the Final Testing and Sealing before the elections.” The memo, however, did not say when the “REZEROING” of the VCMs was done. It is also not known under whose authority which is a clear breach of protocol.
It was intentional to “eliminate any possible link between the ballot and the voter,” the Comelec said. “Comelec’s explanation for the scrambled ballot images is preposterous. The information contained in the SD cards are very voluminous. It would pose a great challenge to anyone who wants to retrace the records to a specific voter,” said Atty. Rodriguez. Despite this, Marcos calms the loyalists down and pleads not to stage any protest. He’s confident that he will win after all.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Solicitor General, Jose Calida corrects the presumptive Vice President saying that it is his mandate to assist the PNP in filing the case against her because he is the lawyer of the government. Robredo initially calls Calida for the more than a million backlog of cases in his office. This follows after his participation in the sedition complaint filed by police against her and other critics of the government. She alleged that the Sol Gen is lawyering Bongbong Marcos which he denies. Calida ends up lecturing Robredo about the OSG’s mandate.
YouTube video by ABS-CBN News[VIDEO]: Robredo binuweltahan si SolGen Calida kaugnay ng kasong sedisyon | TV Patrol
Sedition Case against Robredo
The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group files a sedition and other criminal complaints against Robredo. There are 35 other respondents over the viral ”The Real Narcolist” videos. The police complaint stems from the testimonies by Peter Joemel Advincula, the mysterious “Bikoy” who links President Du30’s family and allies to the illegal drug trade.
OSG’s Mandate and Not for Bongbong Marcos
The OSG is the principal law office of the Government, its agencies, and instrumentalities. Its main function is to render legal services, which includes representing its client-agencies before courts and quasi-judicial bodies. A VP should know this job description. Lawyering for Bongbong Marcos is a bit out of line. Unless Robredo is guilty of election cheating in 2016.
No Backlogs but Only Pending Cases
The OSG refers to the backlog comment of Robredo as a “mischaracterization of the actual status of the cases at the agency. “The OSG is not a court of law which is mandated to resolve cases. The number of pending cases that the OSG currently handles cannot, in any way, translate to ‘backlog,’” a statement from the OSG explained.
No direct Link to Bongbong Marcos
Calida’s office only participates in preparing Advincula’s affidavit for the PNP-CIDG filed the complaint before the DOJ. The OSG disputes Robredo’s claim that Calida was lawyering for the Marcoses is false.
“The OSG’s participation in Bikoy’s affidavit is not in any way linked to the Marcos but the Office is merely rendering its legal services to the PNP-CIDG, as one of its clients,” it said.
By: Elena Grace Flores
The presumptive Vice President is furious of the OSG’s participation in preparing the affidavit of the various cases against her. However, as the government’s lawyer, it is Sol. Gen. Jose Calida’s mandate to do so. Robredo accuses him of lawyering for Bongbong Marcos to oust her through an impeachment proceeding. There is actually a constitutional way to realize the temporary VP’s fear. Aside from having the Senate President and House Speaker as next in line, the President can always appoint his Vice President. All appointments must get a nod from both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Congress.
YouTube video by GMA News[VIDEO]: SONA: VP Robredo at iba pang personalidad, sinampahan ng sedition at iba pang reklamo
Impeachment after Sedition Conviction
Previously, Calida said that Robredo should be impeached for “betraying the trust of the people.” Meanwhile, Atty. Larry Gadon
Removal from Office
Constitutional law professor Dan Gatmaytan said the inciting to sedition complaint against Robredo can proceed because “immunity does not extend to the Vice President.” But Gatmaytan said Robredo cannot be removed from office through this complaint, because she can only be removed through impeachment. This is just like the case of former Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via quo warranto.
Favoring Bongbong Marcos
In the ongoing electoral protest that Marcos filed against Robredo, Calida also plays a role in dropping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and favoring instead Marcos’ position that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal must apply a 50% shading threshold. He said he is favoring Marcos’ position as “tribune of the people.” Calida campaigned for Marcos in the 2016 elections.
Presidential Succession Theory
Atty. Larry Gadon said an indictment against Robredo for sedition can be used as a ground for impeachment. Gadon is the lawyer of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy who is behind the “Totoong Narco List” video designed to malign the President’s family. To replace an impeached VP, President Du30 can simply include BBM in his cabinet. This is prior to a possible Vice Presidential appointment that is subject to the approval of Congress. Marcos’ electoral protest win just serves as an alternative should Sotto or Cayetano temporarily assumes the VP post until such time that Marcos qualifies for the post.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Senator Imee Marcos who is in charge of the election reforms committee in the Senate said that a possible oversight can happen during Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest proceeding if she won’t inhibit from it. She has deep connections with the issue and so, it’s better to let Senator Panfilo Lacson take over. This is only applicable when BBM’s case is in the agenda. Things must be prospective.
YouTube video by
[VIDEO]: Imee Marcos to inhibit from Senate poll panel probe on ‘Bongbong’ protest
Laws for the Future
The new Senator assures the public that there’s no retroactive or retrospective effects for the electoral reforms in the Senate. All policies must be made for future elections like the national poll in 2022 and the Barangay elections in 2023. This is if the latter won’t be done on schedule.
Nothing to do with BBM
Marcos chairmanship in the committee that makes policy changes going forward does not focus only on the younger Marcos’ plight. They must create proper guidelines to address the issues of the elections. Digital, manual, and hybrid systems are in the discussions.
A Lot of Vice Chairmen to Choose From
Senator Marcos has no problem to inhibit from the hearings of the electoral reforms when the issues of her brother’s electoral protest come up. She has a lot of Vice Chairmen to choose from. One is Senator Ping who can handle them well.
Customary Action for the Electoral Protest
Marcos is now the chairman of the electoral reforms committee. The senator’s brother has a pending electoral protest following his defeat in the 2016 vice presidential race. Therefore, it is best to inhibit from any hearing that involves BBM’s protest to be fair as per custom, she added.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Attorney Larry Gadon, the lawyer of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy strikes again. He says that an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo is due. This is if she’s guilty over sedition charges by the PNP. The news comes just after Representatives of the Lower House, Alan Peter Cayetano becomes the Speaker of the House. Martin Romouldez also assumes as the Majority Floor Leader. Congressman Lord Alan Velasco expects to replace Cayetano after 15 months. The set-up is in line with the President’s plea. Gadon , however, denies Du30’s hand on his case.
YouTube video by
[VIDEO]: Gadon to file impeachment complaint if Robredo indicted | Matters of Fact
Quo Warranto Scenario
Robredo spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said lawyer Larry Gadon’s plan is another political move. At a glance, it seems to follow the pattern of the former Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno. A quo warranto petition by the fearless lawyer brings her down. Gadon denies this anyway but the public can only doubt.
Lower House Changes
Meanwhile, despite Cayetano’s highest post at the lower house, the votes are safe with Romualdez as the Majority Floor Leader with regards to Bongbong Marcos. The new House Speaker might criticize his rival because of their VP rivalry. Nowadays, he’s in alliance with the President’s mandate. He is so far in agreement with Du30. His affiliation can add to the Pro-Marcos slate in the future because of his block’s hold in Congress.
The Speaker is the third and last in line in succession for the presidency. By the looks of it, Du30 is likely to last for 15 months or so. But take a look at the Vice Presidency. When the impeachment of Robreso is successful, the VP post becomes vacant. Given that the President still rules, he can always appoint his VP from his cabinet.
BBM’s Appointment Very Possible
Even from the start, Du30 offers Marcos cabinet posts already. Since his electoral protest against Robredo is still ongoing, he swears not to abandon it. Nevertheless, it’s a different story when she is impeached. BBM can simply become a cabinet member prior to a possible Vice Presidential appointment. This is definitely a good alternative to receiving a favorable ruling from the PET. Thus, explain the lower house caucus.