Robredo camp relieved after PET upholds 25% shading threshold
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday after the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) upheld the 25 percent shading threshold in the recount of ballots for the 2016 elections.
“Noong nalaman namin, pareho iyong description. Siyempre, kami si Atty. Romy, si Atty. Beng, kami lahat dito, parang lahat nakahinga. Pero napaka-welcome development siya,” Robredo said in a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Robredo’s lead counsel Atty. Romulo Macalintal said that what makes them even happier is that the SC, sitting as the PET, also considered as valid votes those ballots with ovals that were only 20 percent shaded.
“We are very, very happy also because not only 25 percent ang kinonsider ng Supreme Court, kundi even as low as 20 percent threshold is now considered as a valid vote, insofar as the revision and the recount of the ballots are concerned,” Macalintal told reporters.
He also echoed Robredo’s sentiments that the decision is only fitting since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also used the 25 percent shading threshold for the 2016 elections.
“Ang naging basehan po ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal, ay iyong mga comments na ibinigay ng Commission on Elections, na in the 2016 elections, ang ginamit talaga nilang threshold ay 25 percent,” Macalintal added.
“In other words, the vote counting machines were configured to read ballots where the shading was at least 25 percent on the oval. And on the basis of that comment of Comelec, the Supreme Court sustained our motion that the 25 percent threshold should be adopted by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal,” he explained.
In May 2018, Marcos asked the SC to deny Robredo’s petition, saying Robredo’s camp was changing the rules as the three previous elections have used a 50 percent shading threshold.
Macalintal however said that the SC’s decision was a stark contradiction to Marcos’ claims.
“Furthermore, the resolution debunked Marcos’ baseless claim that the use of a 25 percent threshold is tantamount to changing the rules in the middle of the game,” he said.
For Macalintal, this ruling will not only enhance Robredo’s chances. This will also set a precedent in future elections which will use an automated format, where voters are required to shade an oval next to the name of their preferred candidate.
“Kami ay natutuwa rin sapagkat ang ating Korte Suprema ay gumawa ng ganitong desisyon, which could be used as a guide or enlightenment in future electoral processes like this,” he noted
Robredo said that she hopes the decision would speed up the electoral protest process.
“Masaya, dahil number one, alam namin na bibilis na iyong proseso. Noong umpisa, kami iyong inaakusahan, na kami iyong nagpapatagal,” she said.
“Pero hindi iyon totoo, dahil to our advantage na matapos na kaagad, dahil lalong hindi siya natatapos, lalong nagkakaroon ng avenue para mas maraming kasinungalingan at propaganda iyong ilabas,” she added. /muf
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