The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has wrapped up its probe on a pool resort outing that former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos used to impute impropriety on Vice President Leni Robredo — without the need for his motion to investigate.
In a July 10 resolution obtained Friday, the high court denied Marcos' bid for it to look into a late June outing in Pansol, Laguna joined by PET personnel supervising the ongoing manual vote recount and at least one Robredo hire.
The PET "noted" the former senator's manifestation of grave concern, which took issue with the group's "fraternizing," but denied the motion to investigate "as the Tribunal has already commenced and concluded its investigation relative to the subject 'Pansol outing.'"
This corroborates the claim of Robredo's lawyers that the high tribunal has probed the questioned swimming trip even before Marcos, claiming "conspiracy," filed his pleading before the PET earlier this week.
The resolution did not discuss the results of the investigation, one of the latest details to emerge from the high-profile but closed-door manual vote recount that is part of an election contest between Marcos and Robredo.
Marcos, who lost to Robredo by over 260,000 votes, is challenging the former congresswoman's allegedly fraud-marred victory in the 2016 polls.
Marcos' spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said they were "completely surprised and quite shocked" by the development as he maintained ignorance of the outing and the probe.
He called Robredo's "inside information" a confirmation of their claim that she has "infiltrated" the election protest.
Marcos had questioned the outing because he said it was "highly plausible" that Robredo's camp through her revisor who joined it had "already infiltrated and curried favor with these PET personnel in order to manipulate, influence and/or control the revision proceedings and maneuver the revision results in her favor."
Robredo's lawyers hit back by saying Marcos knew of the outing and even sent food for the event. They asked the PET to release CCTV footage of a Marcos hire supposedly leaving a bag of snacks at the fourth floor of the PET revision venue.
They also claimed penalties had already been meted to the some of the personalities involved in the outing after a PET-initiated investigation, prompting them to call Marcos' move a "PR stunt."
GMA News Online has asked Marcos' camp to comment. —KBK/RSJ, GMA News