Several movie and television personalities have asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday to prevent the disenfranchisement of millions of votes when the poll body issues its opinion on the election protest filed against Vice President Leni Robredo by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
The personalities, led by actress Agot Isidro, stressed that the poll body’s view is crucial to the final decision that will be issued by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), on the matter.
Other signatories to the letter are Pia Magalona, Noel Ferrer, Carlos Aguilos, Kalila Aguilos, Maysch Bay, Bayang Barrios, Iza Calzado, Enchong Dee, Reymundo Domingo, Bituin Escalante, Arman Ferrer, Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, Jet Valle, and Adrienne Vergara.
The High Court had earlier asked the Comelec and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the election protest filed by Marcos.
The celebrities pointed out that the Comelec made a stand for truth and fairness when it informed the PET that the 25-percent threshold must be used for the recount of ballots, with the poll body recognizing the “disservice to change the rules in the middle of the proceedings.”
“This time, we are appealing to the poll body to underscore the enforcement of election rules, particularly Comelec Resolution No. 9720 and Rule 65 of the PET Rules, as means to resolve this protest,” they said.
The Comelec, through Resolution No. 9720, indicated the importance of obtaining reasonable recovery from the pilot provinces as the lack of it could lead to the dismissal of the protest without further proceedings.
Rule 65 of the PET also states that an election protest may be dismissed if a protestant fails to gain substantial recovery from the identified pilot provinces.
In Marcos’ case, he failed to gain substantial recovery during the recount of ballots from the pilot provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur that he himself identified.
Robredo even gained more than 15,000 votes following the recount, which is, according to the celebrities, “a reason enough to dismiss the protest by virtue of Rule 65.”
“We firmly appeal to the Comelec to uphold the implementation of PET Rule 65 and Comelec Resolution No. 9720 so as not to disenfranchise millions of voters and to preserve our election processes and the faith of the Filipino people that justice has no color,” they said.