Marcos protest riddled with inconsistencies, says Robredo camp
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday cites inconsistencies in the election protest of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
In her 146-page Preliminary Conference Brief submitted to the Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Robredo through her counsel election law expert Romulo Macalintal, said Marcos wants to be proclaimed as the winner in an election which he said is “null and void.”
According to Robredo’s counsel, Marcos wants “the Honorable Tribunal to proclaim him as the winner—the winner in an election which he simultaneously impugns and claims to be null and void.”
“Marcos is throwing everything on the wall, hoping that something sticks,” according to the prefatory statement of the pre-trial brief for the preliminary conference submitted Friday.
“Yet, in doing so, Marcos limits his questions to one position – the Vice-Presidency. It is clear, however, that his claim effectively attacks not only protestee Robredo’s canvassed votes but also his own,” he pointed out.
Macalintal added that Marcos also contradicted himself by asking for reliefs inconsistent with his claim that the 2016 election was invalid.
While Marcos limited his allegations to a barangay/municipality, he is seeking the annulment of the results of the elections in an entire province, Macalintal said.
The brief identified witnesses in certain provinces who were allowed to vote even if they are not registered voters of a particular area. They have 670 witnesses against the Marcos camp.
Marcos is also asking for the revision of votes in all clustered precincts in 22 provinces and five highly urbanized cities, in effect outside of the ambit of an election protest.
“With due respect, Marcos must come before the Honorable Tribunal certain, at the outset, of his cause and able to prove it, and certainly without resorting to false testimonies,” the statement added.
The same brief also questioned why Marcos only protested the validity of the certifications of SLI Global Solutions Inc. (SLI) on the functionality of the Automated Election System (AES).
Macalintal pointed out that Marcos has been invited several times by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to participate in the transparency activities for the stakeholders and the public undertaken in preparation for the May 9, 2016 election.
“Protestant Marcos failed to send his representatives and/or participate in the transparency activities…Protestant Marcos did not question the SIL Certification prior to the 09 May 2016 national and local elections,” said Macalintal.
He added that the transparency server was for viewing the raw election data and was not used as basis for the canvass and proclamation of the winning candidate.
The Robredo camp also designated three provinces—Capiz, Sulu and North Cotabato – which they believed would best exemplify fraud or election irregularities.
Under Rule 65 of the PET rules, revision of ballots and reception of evidence will begin with the provinces identified by both parties.
To expedite the proceedings, the Robredo camp also asked the PET to first resolve the question on the integrity of the automated election system raised by Marcos as his first cause of action.
“Protestee Robredo believes and maintains that the issue on the integrity of the automated election system used in the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections affects not only her victory but the proclamation of all winning candidates from the President to the lowest councilor,” the brief stated.
The Robredo camp also proposed the creation of 25 revision committees and providing rules on how to treat the voter verifiable paper trail (VVPAT) because it was not included in the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
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