Robredo’s camp: Game over for Marcos’ poll protest
For the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo, it’s “game over” for the election protest of defeated candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s lead counsel, said on Wednesday that the recount and reappreciation of the ballots from three pilot provinces still showed the Vice President’s “intact” lead over Marcos.
An eight-page supplemental manifestation filed by Robredo’s camp on Monday in the Supreme Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), showed that the election returns and the physical counts of ballots in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental had tallied without “radical differences.”
Both counts had Robredo winning over Marcos.
“Essentially, this is game over for Marcos as he failed to get substantial recovery from [these] provinces,” Macalintal said at a press briefing.
27 provinces and cities
Marcos chose the three provinces as the pilot areas in challenging Robredo’s victory in the May 2016 elections.
In all, the son of the late dictator contested the results from 39,221 clustered precincts in 27 provinces and cities.
Robredo won by 263,473 votes over Marcos in the 2016 election.
In the manifestation, Robredo’s camp said the election returns from the three provinces yielded 1,432,735 votes for Robredo, well over Marcos’ 193,227.
The physical count, meanwhile, showed that the Robredo received 1,416,205 votes, compared to Marcos’ 191,598.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Robredo’s manifestation read.
Macalintal said that with the threshold percentage set at 25 percent, Robredo was even expected to gain an additional 17,405 votes.
The PET on Tuesday decided to suspend the revision proceedings indefinitely, supposedly to “give way for the tribunal to prepare for the revision using the decrypted ballots and/or election paraphernalia.”
These refer to ballots which were wet or damaged. The PET said it would use images provided by the Commission on Elections for the revision.
Macalintal, who is running for a Senate seat in the May midterm elections, said the suspension would have no impact on the protest.
Sought for comment, Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez slammed Macalintal’s statements as nothing but an attempt to earn “media mileage” for his Senate bid.
“Of course [Robredo] would claim the lead in as much as she has robbed [Marcos] of clear victory,” he told the Inquirer, adding that their camp had “always respected the views of Mrs. Robredo, however irrelevant, thoughtless or pathetic it may be.”
Rodriguez said Robredo’s camp should not resort to publicity whose “obvious intent [is] to preempt the [PET] and condition the minds of the public.”
“Robredo should stop speaking for the tribunal and be one with us in defending the independence of the judiciary,” he added./ac
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