Thoughts on Marcos and Robredo’s Electoral Protest

Let me just discuss information and express my thoughts about the motion/manifestation that VP Leni Robredo’s camp and former senator Bongbong Marcos’ signed last February 6, 2018.

marcos-robredo-20160524

Former senator Bongbong Marcos challenged VP Leni Robredo and her camp to sign a joint motion in order to hasten and withdraw all motions to clear the way to the recount of votes last 2016 elections after the former senator accused the duly elect vice president of cheating. “I’ve done everything possible to speed up this election protest,” Marcos said in a statement. “At this point, the only thing left is for Mrs. Robredo to sign the document. We are waiting.”

February 6, Tuesday — Atty. Romulo Macalintal, VP Leni Robredo’s election lawyer, responded to Mr. Marcos’ dare. “I am inviting Mr Marcos and his lawyer tomorrow (February 7, 2018) at 9 am to sign a joint motion,” he said. “This is to confirm that we are not causing the delay in the recount of ballots. It is Mr Marcos’ raising of baseless allegations and irrelevant issues that is causing the delay in the recount.”

February 7, 2018, Wednesday — Atty. Romulo Macalintal showed up and presented VP Robredo’s camp’s prepared joint motion to withdraw all motions and acts that may hamper or delay the recount proceedings. The media and people witnessed him sign the motion, however, ex-senator Bongbong Marcos’ camp didn’t show up on the said venue.

BUT don’t you dare think I am not going to mention in this blog post about what Mr. Marcos did that day.

Mr. Marcos showed up earlier that day with a complete set of media. In front of the media, cameras and live videos, he signed a joint manifestation himself. Yes, himself, not his election lawyer, not any representative but himself. If you would remember, VP Robredo’s camp earlier told Marcos to meet them in a restaurant so both camps could sign the joint motion. But the former senator was a no-show on the said venue, hence, he went on another place and on an earlier time.

Moving further, the surprising part here is that Mr. Marcos signed a joint manifestation instead of a joint motion. It’s planting so much questions in my head because to think of it, it was his camp and him who challenged VP Robredo’s camp to sign a motion (not a manifestation) and it would be too farfetch to think they just accidentally filed a manifestation or made a mistake by filing a manifestation instead of a motion. It’s like challenging someone into a boxing fight and you appear to the meeting place with a pair of basketball shoes instead of some boxing gloves, you know what I mean?

There is a difference between the two but let me explain that in a less lawyer way and in a more layman’s term way.
Manifestations are usually made merely for the information of the court with generally nothing to contest or argue. It’s a pleading which does not carry weight since the party merely makes a statement, chich the court may take not of and not take any action at all.

Basically, a manifestation is just like informing the court that you’ll do something. It’s just like you’re saying something but it doesn’t really demand any actions or response at all.

Motion is a pleading where a party asks the court to grant him the relief or remedies or what he wants from the court.

As for motion, it’s like demanding (let me use a better term for that) asking the court to grant the request of the filing party to withdraw all the filed motion and acts that slows down the proceedings to the recounting of the ballots. In this case, the court is required to respond as it is a request.

Now let’s get into the part of this post where I integrate my thoughts and opinions regarding this issue. It was brave of Mr. Marcos to challenge VP Robredo’s camp to sign a joint motion to hasten the progress of the electoral protest he filed. I could feel his eagerness to see if cheating really happened or if it didn’t, I give him that. Every Filipino wants the recount to happen as well — the pro-Leni Robredo, the pro-BBM, the Filipinos, so that for once, this issue of election results can be resolved.
Yet then, I started to get confused when his camp signed a manifestation rather than motion. “I thought you want this protest to progress swiftly? I thought it was VP Robredo’s camp who’s causing all the delays?” I asked myself but neither did I can answer so I was left with no choice but to read articles, hear the thoughts of the election lawyers, the left, the right and other centrists around.
The evidences presented by Mr. Marcos since day one were weak, not enough to prove the alleged cheating during the 2016 elections. He has been observed to be fishing for evidences and loopholes to keep his protest going after the inauguration of the president and the vice president. With that at the back of my head, it appears to me that all these noise he’s making with his election protest are just a part of his tactic to keep himself relevant. If he’ll slow down the progress of the protest, questions will remain in every Filipinos’ mind and if he’s running for the senate 2019 or the presidency on 2022, this whole protest idea can push him up to the top of the surveys but the sad part here is that VP Leni Robredo has to take all the burden (a sadder case here is that if VP Leni Robredo is really innocent and she doesn’t deserve all these mess).

Now I’m kinda expecting this protest to continue until 2019 or maybe even until 2022. Who can tell?
How did I come up with that bias assumption? NO. It’s not bias. Come to think of it.
One: He challenged VP Robredo’s camp to sign a motion. He signed a manifestation. Come on. He’s a lawyer, he’s got his own lawyer for this case, they should know about motion and manifestation.
Two: He appeared on air, on-cam, in public earlier than Atty. Macalintal last February 7, 2018. Is this a tactic to say like “IM SO EAGER FOR THE RECOUNT! LOOK, I’M HERE SUPER EARLY AND VP ROBREDO’S CAMP IS LATE. THEY’RE REALLY THE ONES CAUSING THE DELAY. SIDE WITH ME PEOPLE.”
Three: Don’t the former senator Bongbong Marcos trust his election lawyer, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, that he had to really come up there and be the one to sign the manifestation (even if it should actually be a motion)? What is that? A stunt? “Look, I’m here on my own signing this document by myself while VP Leni Robredo is a no-show and he only sent her election lawyer to sign the motion.” Please. The point here is that she signed the motion whether she’s there or not, as long as she signed it, it’s still the same.
Four: Atty. Macalintal mentioned the venue and time for him to meet with Atty. Rodriguez and ex-senator Bongbong Marcos so that they can sign the joint motion to hasten the progress of the case altogether in front of the media and public as the witness. If Marcos’ camp is really into the idea of removing all the motion and acts delaying and impeding the ballot recount, they would have appeared there but they didn’t.
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That’s basically my thoughts about this issue. I would be open to your thoughts and sensible responses regarding this issue after reading this post below on the comments section. I do hope I enlightened the readers out there. I would like to apologize if ever there are grammatical errors along this post, english isn’t really my first language (Filipino is my first language) and I am no professional writer. Thank you for your time to read.
SOURCES:

ABS-CBN NEWS: Robredo camp signs motion to withdraw all motions before PET
INQUIRER: Bongbong Marcos signs document to withdraw all motions from PET
INQUIRER: Bongbong skeptical about Leni’s joint motion offer
RAPPLER: Marcos signs document withdrawing motions that delay VP vote recount
TWITTER NETIZEN: MANIFESTATION VS MOTION
THE MANILA TIMES: Robredo camp turns tables on Marcos: Sign ‘motion’ not ‘manifestation’ over ballot recount

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