• Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal advised Bongbong Marcos to forget their plan to file an electoral protest
  • Macalintal said it would be wiser for Marcos to just divert his resources to his reelection bid three years from now
  • He also rejected claims by whistleblowers that votes in Quezon province were manipulated to favor Roxas and Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President-elect Leni Robredo’s legal counsel has urged Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos to forget their plan to file an electoral protest and divert their resources to seeking reelection as Senator after three years instead.

Romulo Macalintal, the lawyer representing Robredo, said it would be a waste of time and money for the camp of Marcos to pursue the allegation of fraud before the Commission on Election (Comelec) against Robredo because of the painstakingly-long process.

“I speak not as a lawyer of Ms. Robredo, I speak as an election lawyer,” Inquirer quoted Macalintal as saying. “Kung ako ang magpapayo sa kanya, hindi ko na itutuloy kasi matagal lamang ang nasabing proseso, napakalaki ng kanyang gagastusin, aabutin ng P100 million.”

[If I were to advise him, I will not pursue ( the electoral protest) because it is a long process and would cost a lot, roughly P100 million.]

Macalintal explained that by the time the case will be completed, three years would have passed already, which is in time for another senatorial election.

If Marcos is still interested in another Senate term and decided to run by then, the lawyer said, his protest will be effectively nullified.

However, Macalintal added, it is still up to Marcos if the latter is bent on filing the protest since he has the right to pursue the complaint.

No proof in fraud allegation

Macalintal also dismissed the allegation of vote-rigging in Quezon province by the so-called whistle blowers presented earlier by Pastor Boy Saycon of the Council of Philippine Affairs (COPA).

The election lawyer said he is willing to surrender his license if the allegations are proven true.

Saycon presented before the Senate reporters last week three men who claimed they were responsible for manipulating the votes in Quezon to favor administration bets Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo at the expense of their respective rivals.

But Macalintal insisted the allegations were merely cooked up, rejecting the claims by the three men that they have the capacity to manipulate the election results encoded in the SD card before transmitting them to the Transparency server, the mirror server and the central server.

Marcos lost to Robredo by a slim margin of 263,473 votes; the closest ever in the country’s election history for the second highest position in the land.