January 4, 2017 update: Comelec’s Bautista faces criminal raps over massive data leak
June 24, 2016 update: All six COMELEC commissioners criticizes Bautista over failed leadership as per reported by Rappler.com.
As the vice presidential race is getting neck-to-neck, independent political analysts and lawyers share their views about the current trend.
On Wednesday, Private Attorney’s Office of the Philippines – NCR Chapter (PAOP-NCR), organized a symposium held in Victoria Retreat House in Batangas. The event was joined by more than 300 lawyers from different law offices around Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
One of the main topics discussed was the ongoing unofficial counting of votes, especially on the vice presidential race being clouded with controversies.
Although Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos won in NCR by more than 1 million votes against Cong. Robredo, some lawyers said they did not vote for Marcos, but saddened and worried by what is going on.
“The cheating is real. I did not vote for BBM because Allan is my close friend and acquaintance, but it is very obvious that the Aquino government is flexing its muscles to block the people’s decision to install Marcos as VP”, Atty. Nilo Catipon said.
“Whoever wins as long as it is a fair election, I have no problem. But the current trend suggests that Chairman Bautista may go to jail if the incoming Duterte administration will go after him legally”, Atty. Fausto Pobre of Sampaloc said.
Of 305 delegates, 298 lawyers believed that Aquino orchestrated that fraud, while the other 7 lawyers refused to give their opinion.
“Given the gravity of Marcos’ accusations, Charmain Andres Bautista could face more than 1,000 charges of election fraud if the camp of Marcos file a petition under the leadership of new COMELEC people under the new administration, and I strongly believe the incoming president will support it”, Atty. Mat Sulpicio said.
Bautista is a cousin of outgoing president Benigno Aquino III, and a former campaign adviser by LP standard bearer, Mar Roxas. /Joey Buendia/