VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Columnist Tundag falsely claims Marcos Jr. ‘accepted’ dismissal of 2016 election protest


Columnist Jerry Suico Tundag of Cebu-based newspaper The Freeman falsely claimed in a tweet that presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.  had “accepted” the verdict of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which dismissed in its entirety his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo six years ago.


Tundag, former editor-in-chief of the newspaper, said:

“When #BBM lost in 2016 (many say he was cheated), he went through the process of a protest and accepted the verdict.”

Source: Jerry Suico Tundag Twitter Account, “When #BBM lost in 2016…,” April 25, 2022

He then went on to revive a fake quote, which was attributed to Robredo, that says:

“Leni, doing poorly in all surveys, says the only way she’ll lose is if she is cheated. There’ll be trouble, it s (sic) said. This shows the stuff of which they’re made.”


The PET unanimously dismissed “the entire electoral protest” of the former senator on Feb. 16, 2021. Less than three months later on May 11, Marcos Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration, asking the tribunal to review his third cause of action in which he sought to annul the results of the 2016 vice presidential race in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan. 

(Read VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Understanding the PET’s junking of Marcos’ poll protest vs. Robredo

Tundag’s tweet also carried the fake quote attributed to Robredo. VERA Files Fact Check recently debunked such claims, which have been circulating online (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo DID NOT threaten chaos if she loses, has NO alliance with NPA). 


The former senator’s poll protest cited “terrorism, intimidation[,] and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts that functioned in the aforesaid areas” as reasons for annulling the elections in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan.

However, the PET dismissed the argument after the camp of Marcos Jr. failed to provide evidence substantiating its claims of “electoral irregularities”  in the three areas. 

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Jerry Suico Tundag Twitter Account, When #BBM lost in 2016…,” April 25, 2022

Supreme Court, Press Briefer, Feb. 16, 2021

CNN Philippines, Bongbong Marcos files motion challenging PET’s junking of poll protest. May 11, 2021, Marcos prods PET to reverse dismissal of poll protest vs VP Robredo, May 11, 2021

ABS-CBN News, Bongbong asks PET to reconsider ruling junking election protest vs VP Robredo, May 11, 2021

Supreme Court E-library, PET Case No. 005, Feb. 16, 2021 



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)