MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is not bothered by the progressing electoral protest case that her 2016 poll rival former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed against her, which has reached its preliminary conference stage more than a year after it was lodged before the Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
In a media interview on Tuesday, July 11, during the Bicol launch of Caltex Fuel Your School Program in Naga City, Robredo said she wasn’t preparing anything for the case but the truth and she saw no reason to fear because she knew that the truth was on her side.
“Iyong preparation kasi parati iyong katotohanan. Basta hawak natin iyong katotohanan, hindi naman tayo kailangang matakot [The preparation is always for the truth. As long as we hold the truth, there is no need to fear],” the Vice President said.
After several delays, the PET has finally decided to hold the preliminary conference on Marcos’ poll protest case and Robredo’s counter-poll protest case Tuesday afternoon.
The pre-trial or preliminary conference is set to expedite the disposition of a case. It is a meeting of the parties to a case conducted prior to trial and enables the court to check the status of the case and give directions as to how it will proceed.
In his complaint against Robredo, Marcos identified three provinces where he was allegedly cheated — Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
But Robredo on Tuesday said she was confident that no cheating took place in the 2016 polls, including in Camarines Sur, where she hails.
“Alam naman natin na isa sa mga kinuwestyon na probinsya iyong Camarines Sur. Alam nating lahat na taga-dito na walang ganoon na nangyari,” she said.
Robredo had a neck-and-neck race with Marcos during last year’s national elections.
Based on the official congressional canvas, Robredo won the vice presidency with 14,418,817 votes, which was just 263,473 votes more than Marcos’ total votes.
Based on the same canvas, Robredo got the highest number of votes in five of the six provinces in Bicol, including Camarines Sur, her hometown. It was only in Sorsogon, the hometown of defeated vice presidential bet Francis Escudero, where Robredo didn’t win as most of the votes went to Escudero.
On June 29, 2016, a day before Robredo was sworn into office, Marcos filed his poll protest case against his top rival contesting poll results in 27 cities and provinces, covering 39,221 “clustered” precincts which are composed of 132,446 “established” precincts.