PET says ballot recount in 3 pilot provinces almost complete
MANILA, Philippines — The revision of ballots in the poll protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo is almost complete, except for a few wet or damaged ballots, the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) said Tuesday.
“On Jan. 21, 2019, the revision of ballots was completed except for a few ballot boxes, which were referred to the Tribunal for further action, and the wet or damaged ballots, where the Tribunal directed the Revision Committee (RC) to use the decrypted ballot images provided by the Commission on Elections (Comelec),” PET said in a statement released by the high court’s Information Office.
PET said it shall prepare for the use of decrypted ballot images in the revision proceedings.
“The revision proceedings for the remaining ballot boxes and decrypted ballot images will continue on January 28, 2019,” PET said, denying reports that the recount has been indefinitely suspended.
After the revision, the Tribunal said it will proceed with the appreciation proceedings “to rule on all objections and claims made by the parties during the revision.”
Once the revision and appreciation are completed, PET will determine if there are valid grounds in the protest and decide whether to dismiss the case or proceed with the recount of votes in other contested provinces.
The preliminary recount covers three pilot provinces — Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental — covering a total of 5,418 clustered precincts.
After the recount in the pilot provinces, the PET will decide whether to proceed with the recount in 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts, covering 27 provinces and cities identified in the Marcos poll protest.
A source earlier said that the recount was suspended only in two areas in Negros Occidental due to wet and missing ballots, but in other areas, the recount will push through.
This is the fifth election protest filed before the PET under the 1987 Constitution. The first four were filed by the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago against Fidel Ramos (1992 presidential election); Fernando Poe Jr. vs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2004 presidential election); Loren Legarda vs Noli de Castro (2004 vice-presidential elections); and Manuel “Mar” Roxas vs Jejomar Binay (2010 vice-presidential election). None of these protests reached the conclusion of the revision of ballots. /ee
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