EDITORIAL - Credible resolution
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo intends to appeal the ruling. But it looks like the Supreme Court, in its role as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal or PET, is set to proceed with deliberations on the poll protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
It’s not the first time that results in the vice presidential race have been challenged. The difference this time is the narrow margin of victory, with Robredo edging out Marcos by 260,000 votes. The public expects the PET to set the example and resolve this case faster than previous electoral challenges.
Elections embody the democratic ideal of government of, by, and for the people. But the will of the people in this country has often been thwarted, mainly because the bodies tasked to resolve electoral protests move as slowly as the judicial system.
It is common for these bodies to resolve election protests after the term in the contested position is over. The loss is irretrievable for the real winners who failed to serve their term. But even the true winners who manage to occupy contested posts suffer from the uncertainty of their mandate.
It is said that after every electoral exercise, there are only two types of candidates in this country: the winners and those who have been cheated. Perhaps the resolution of electoral protests is deliberately designed to be slow and tortuous to discourage frivolous challenges by sore losers – and there are many of them in this country.
Speedy resolution of protests, however, need not invite frivolous complaints. The bodies tasked to resolve poll protests can impose penalties on frivolous protests. What’s important is the credibility of the process, especially in resolving a controversial case involving the only son of the late dictator. When Marcos vs Robredo is settled with finality, there must be little doubt that the PET acted with fairness and impartiality.