PET: Robredo maintains, increases lead over Marcos
MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Leni Robredo has maintained and even increased her lead against former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) said in a decision released late Friday, Oct. 18.
“Based on the final tally, after revision and appreciation of the votes in the pilot provinces, protestee Robredo maintained, as, in fact, she increased her lead over protestant Marcos. After the revision and appreciation, the lead of protestee Robredo increased from 263,473 to 278,566,” the PET said in its ruling.
The pilot provinces–Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental—were chosen by Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, as areas where he said he was cheated most.
Rule 65 of the PET, composed of Supreme Court justices, states that if the tribunal is “convinced that, taking all circumstances into account, the protestant or counter protestant will most probably fail to make out his case, the protest may forthwith be dismissed.”
Although acknowledging Robredo’s lead, the main ruling, however, required both the Marcos and Robredo camps to submit comments on results of a recount of votes in the pilot provinces and submit memos on other issues including Marcos’ third request—to nullify results of elections for Vice President in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao provinces.
Marcos claimed elections in those provinces were marred by terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters and pre-shading of ballots in all their 2,756 clustered precincts.
Rep. Mujiv Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, cried foul over Marcos’ claim of election fraud in the three provinces that used to belong to the ARMM.
But the PET said the election protest had already spawned “very serious but unfounded and careless speculations.”
“The tribunal deems it essential to meet due process requirements to require protestant and protestee to now provide their position in relation to the third cause of action,” the PET ruling said.
The tribunal added that requiring both parties to examine first the results of the vote recount was in compliance with the Constitution.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.