SC says revision of ballots in VP poll protest complete
The revision of ballots in the vice presidential electoral protest case has been completed, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.
The high court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), said it had completed the revision of ballots from 5,417 clustered precincts for the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, under the vote recount sought by losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In a statement, the PET said the revision of ballots, which began in April last year, had been completed except for a few ballot boxes with wet or damaged ballots.
The PET said the revision committee would use the decrypted ballot images provided by the Commission on Elections to read the damaged ballots.
After the revision, the next stage in the electoral protest case would be the appreciation of ballots where the PET would rule on all objections and claims made by the parties during the revision.
The ballot revision and appreciation were part of the initial determination of the grounds of the protest, the PET explained.
After the revision and appreciation, the tribunal will determine if Marcos’ protest had valid grounds to challenge the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo, and decide whether to dismiss the case or proceed with the vote recount in other contested provinces.
Marcos had contested the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
Robredo won the May 2016 vice presidential polls with 14,418,817 votes, which was 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
None of the four election protests previously filed with the PET had reached the point where the revision of ballots was completed.
These were the cases filed by Miriam Defensor-Santiago against Fidel Ramos in the 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).
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