Amid another deferral, Robredo camp presses SC to release initial recount
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has pressed the Supreme Court (SC) – sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) – to urgently release the results of its preliminary recount on ex-senator Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest against her.
This call came in the wake of reports that the high court would again reset its deliberations on its initial recount involving three pilot provinces chosen by Marcos to October 15.
Robredo’s camp also appealed to SC to immediately make its decision on the case to avert rumors and speculations that sow public confusion.
Robredo’s spokesman Atty. Barry Gutierrez said during a press conference Tuesday at the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in Quezon City that it would benefit SC if it would act on the motion submitted by Atty. Romulo Macalintal, the Vice President’s counsel.
“You can’t avoid it because the news broke, the report is already there, it appears that Justice (Alfredo) Caguioa has submitted a draft decision, then why the delay. For us, the easiest way and the best way to actually dispel any of these rumors is to come out with the report,” Gutierrez told reporters.
Macalintal on Monday urged PET to release a copy of the summary of committee reports on the “revision, recount, and re-appreciation of ballots” from the three pilot provinces – Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
“You can’t avoid rumors, because people know that there has been a report, that there has been a draft decision. But no decision, no official action has come out from the PET, it was just a series of deferments, in the meantime, you open your social media feed, it is full of conflicting reports,” Gutierrez noted.
“It’s not actually damaging to us but damaging to the PET and the (poll protest) process itself […] make it public, let the people see it, so at least we’ll have a general idea where we’re going with this. So we hope the PET will act expeditiously on the latest motion of Attorney Macalintal,” he added.
Marcos lodged the poll protest in 2016, weeks after Robredo was proclaimed winner of the vice presidential race by a margin of around 280,000 votes. The former senator and son of late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos claimed that he was cheated in the 2016 national elections, which declared then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the winner and 16th President of the Philippines.
According to Gutierrez, information given by their team monitoring the protest’s proceedings showed that Robredo’s votes even swelled by 15,000 after the preliminary recount. However, he admitted that these were not official figures since the official information should come from the SC – the main objective of Macalintal’s motion.
“If we get an official copy of the report, that will go a long way towards understanding the possible direction of SC’s decision,” he explained.
“It is very clear under the Rule 65 of the PET’s own rules, that if there is no substantial recovery established in the recount of the pilot provinces identified by the protestant, that should be sufficient basis for dismissing the case,” he also stressed. /kga
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