The Manila Times
Oct. 8, 2007
By Jomar Canlas,


Reporter The electoral protest case file by Sen. Loren Legarda against Vice-President Noli de Castro has edged even closer to dismissal. The Supreme Court—acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)—decided to allow the ballot boxes used in the 2004 election protest to be opened and used for the October 29 elections, when the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are to take place. The decision came after pleas made by the Commission on Elections, particularly the Comelec office in Sultan Kudarat. Legarda and de Castro did not object, the PET said. Legarda’s case is already on the brink of total dismissal. The PET recently issued a resolution junking the second aspect of Legarda’s protest when she failed to file the required deposit mandated by the tribunal rules. Legarda was to pay P3.9 million for the revision of ballots for the Pampanga ballots, which were allegedly tainted with fraud, along with ballots in Cebu. But Legarda is asking the election tribunal not to junk her case. Her lawyer, Sixto Brillantes, argued that they have already presented evidence and had formally rested their case in so far as the first aspect of her election protest was concerned. The first aspect of Loren’s protest involved the retabulation and recanvassing of the election returns from Lanao del Sur. Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who sits as chairman of the electoral tribunal, recently told The Manila Times that they are just waiting for a motion to be filed by the parties before making a decision. Puno declined to comment when asked if Legarda’s situation is similar to the case filed by Sen. Miriam Santiago regarding the outcome of the 1992 presidential elections won by President Fidel V. Ramos. Santiago later ran and won as a senator, and then she waived her election protest. In the May 2004 elections, the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino fielded Loren as its vice-presidential bet, joining the ticket of the late Fernando Poe Jr. In June 2007 the election tribunal ordered Legarda to pay P1.8 million in connection with her election protest. The election tribunal asked Legarda to pay an additional deposit to cover the cost of returning the election articles from Cebu and Pampanga to the Comelec office in Manila.

Remarks:

In my opinion is that she should focus of how she can serve her countrymen now that she is the number elected senator, instead of digging dirt. There are still lots of fight to come more elections to come and who she will win the unfamous race.