Robredo, Marcos poll tussle heats up
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo ridiculed the latest moves of losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in pursuing his election protest, saying his claim was an attack not only on Robredo’s votes but his own.
“Marcos is throwing everything on the wall, hoping that something sticks,” according to the prefatory statement of the pretrial brief for the preliminary conference submitted by Robredo counsels Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo to the Supreme Court acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
In a news release, Macalintal said Marcos, in his protest, claimed that the 2016 Automated Election System was noncompliant with Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, “a defect which he claims has rendered the whole automated election system null and void.”
“Yet, in doing so, Marcos limits his questions to one position—the Vice Presidency. It is clear, however, that his claim effectively attacks not only protestee Robredo’s canvassed votes but also his own,” the lawyer said.
Marcos now wants the PET to proclaim him as the winner in an election “which he simultaneously impugns and claims to be null and void,” Macalintal said.
“Marcos then proceeds to contradict himself by asking for relief inconsistent with his claim that the 2016 elections was invalid,” he said.
Macalintal noted that while Marcos limited his allegations to a barangay or municipality, he was seeking the annulment of the results of the elections in an entire province.
Marcos is also asking for the revision of votes in all clustered precincts in 22 provinces and five highly urbanized cities, in effect outside the ambit of an election protest, he said.
“With due respect, Marcos must come before the Honorable Tribunal certain, at the outset, of his cause and able to prove it, and certainly without resorting to false testimonies,” the statement said.
Robredo defeated Marcos by a close margin of a little more than 260,000 votes in last year’s general elections.
Marcos on Friday asked the PET to conduct a vote recount in the home province of Robredo and in two provinces in the Visayas where the Vice President posted landslide wins in the May 2016 elections.
Marcos found it “highly improbable” that Robredo got more than 80 percent of the votes cast in Camarines Sur, where she served as representative immediately before she won as Vice President.
Marcos also questioned Robredo’s wins in Iloilo and Negros Oriental where he claimed to have had the support of political families in those provinces.
In his case brief submitted by his lawyer George Garcia to the PET on Friday, Marcos said the investigation of the results in these three provinces would best show that he had grounds for his election protest.
The PET has scheduled the preliminary conference for Marcos’ protest on July 11.
According to Marcos’ spokesperson, Victor Rodriguez, the three provinces showed “major discrepancies” between the actual ballots cast and the votes transmitted by the vote counting machines.
He questioned how Robredo obtained 643,865 votes in Camarines Sur when two other Bicolano candidates obtained combined votes of less than a tenth of Robredo’s votes.
Senators Francis Escudero and Gregorio Honasan who are from Sorsogon province obtained 36,509 and 7,005 votes, respectively. Marcos got 40,195 votes in Camarines Sur.
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