AFTER challenging Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw all motions filed in relation to the electoral protest against her, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has allegedly signed the “wrong” document.
According to Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Marcos signed a “joint manifestation” instead of a “joint motion” to indicate the withdrawal of all motions filed before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in a bid to hasten the ballot recount.
“Marcos presented us with a wrong document,” Macalintal said in a press conference on Wednesday, February 7.
Citing a Supreme Court (SC) decision in April 2005, Macalintal pointed out that manifestations are “usually made merely for the information of the court.”
“A motion is a pleading where a party asks the court to grant him the relief or remedies or what he wants from the court. A ‘manifestation’ is merely a pleading wherein the party merely makes a representation or statement which the court may just take note of without any action at all,” he explained.
Marcos earlier dared Robredo to “sign a joint motion withdrawing all our outstanding motions so we could go straight to the recount.”
On Tuesday, February 6, the former senator announced that he had signed a joint manifestation to withdraw all pending motions that may delay the election recount.
Macalintal said they invited the former senator to a restaurant on Wednesday to sign a joint motion but neither Marcos nor his lawyers showed up, and that the vice president’s camp only presented the already signed joint manifestation.
“Marcos’ failure to sign a real joint motion is a clear indication that he was merely bluffing when he hurled the challenge to file a joint motion to dismiss all pending incidents knowing fully well that he is the one with pending motion which may affect the recount proceedings,” Macalintal added.
Refusing to sign Marcos’ joint manifestation, Robredo’s camp instead signed what Macalintal tagged “a true and correct Joint Motion with prayer to consider as withdrawn and abandoned and dismissed all pending motions that may cause a delay of the recount proceedings.”
Defending its submission of a manifestation, Marcos’ camp said its joint manifestation is “more sincere” because Robredo’s joint motion only covered pending motions and not future motions that may delay the recount.
Rodriguez also added that the vice president’s refusal to sign the joint manifestation shows “lack of good faith.”