President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel on Tuesday said supporters of ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. should accept the Supreme Court’s (SC) unanimous decision to dismiss his election protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
— Philippine Supreme Court Public Information Office (@SCPh_PIO) February 16, 2021
“The supporters of the losing party, as well as those who voted for the losing candidate, may disagree with the general voters’ choice and consider the same as incorrect. They have to accept the verdict no matter how wrong or unacceptable to them. That is the rule of the majority,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“We have to abide by the precepts of democracy. We can not be blinded by our personal biases for a particular candidate, That is how democracy works. The minority must submit and concede to the majority,” he added.
Duterte earlier said that he would resign if Marcos won the recount to give way for the latter to assume the presidency.
Panelo said “rule of law has prevailed” as due process was “evidently observed with both parties having been given the opportunity to present their respective cases.”
“The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has spoken. It behooves everyone to abide by it. And so we must,” Panelo added.
In a virtual presser, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said the Palace “respects” the SC’s decision.
“Iyan po’y desisyon ng kataas-taasang hukuman. We respect that and we respect also that the camp of Sen. Bongbong Marcos has the further remedy of moving for reconsideration,” he declared.
Robredo won the vice presidential seat with 263,473 more votes than second-placer Marcos in the May 2016 polls.
After a manual recount of ballots from three provinces handpicked by Marcos in October 2019, Robredo gained 15,093 more votes.
The SC announced on Tuesday that 15 members of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal unanimously dismissed the entire electoral protest of Marcos against Robredo. John Ezekiel J. Hirro