Using 50% shade threshold in vote recount ‘erroneous’ — Comelec
Updated 8 p.m.
Using a different ballot shading threshold in the ongoing vote recount in former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s electoral protest instead of the standard used when the election was conducted is “erroneous.”
This was the position of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in their 13-page manifestation to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on the ballot shading controversy.
Solicitor General Jose Calida dropped the 25-percent threshold set by the Comelec and instead backed the 50% threshold being pushed by the Marcos camp.
Calida insisted that the PET has the sole authority to decide on electoral disputes.
But the Comelec stressed that decisions on election disputes “should be based on the standards and procedures used during the conduct of elections and in ascertainment of election results.”
“To use different standard would be erroneous and may result to unnecessary questions on the legitimacy of all elected officials, from the President down to the last Sangguniang Bayan member,” the poll body said.
The Comelec, being a constitutionally-created commission, asserted its power and authority to administer the country’s election and to decide all questions affecting elections.
“It cannot be overemphasized that the threshold issue as it is now being presented is more an issue of fact than a question of law,” the Comelec said.
“Otherwise stated, it is more an issue of what was used to appreciate, count votes and proclaim winners, than an issue of which rule, as between those of Comelec and the Supreme Court, should prevail,” the poll body stressed.
Currently, the PET is applying the 50-percent ballot shading threshold in the recount of votes.
Meanwhile, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez clarified that the poll body was not backing any party on the ongoing electoral protest.
Jimenez said that the 13-page comment issued by the Comelec was merely its stance on the voting threshold and that their stance would apply to any poll protest.
“Just to clarify, Comelec did not back any party to this protest,” Jimenez said in a statement to reporters on Thursday.
“This characterization is wrong and misleading. The 25% threshold is applied to all protests, even before it became an issue in the VP protest,” he explained. /je
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