PET gives Marcos camp 5 days to submit list of witnesses in poll protest
The Supreme Court (SC), as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), gave the camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos five non-extendible days to provide a new list of witnesses in its bid to annul the election results for vice president in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan.
In a resolution made public Tuesday, the PET said during last July’s preliminary conference the Marcos camp have been required to submit a list of at least three witnesses per clustered precincts on the three provinces.
However, “to date, protestant [Marcos] has yet to submit such list in compliance with the Tribunal’s directive,” the PET said.
The three provinces were subject of Marcos’ third cause of action which sought to annul the election result due to cases of terrorism, intimidation, harassment of voters and pre-shading of ballots.
During the preliminary conference, the PET required the camp of Marcos to narrow down the number of witnesses to only three per clustered precincts.
The total of clustered precincts for the three provinces is 2,756.
“The Tribunal reiterates its directive to protestant [Marcos] to submit a new list of witnesses for the third cause of action by limiting the number of witnesses to three per clustered precinct and already identifying the concerned clustered precinct, within non-extendible period of five days from receipt,” the PET said.
“Protestant’s failure to do so will be deemed a waiver of his right to name and identify his witnesses and to present them during the reception of evidence,” the PET added.
Based on the Project of Precincts for the May 9 polls, Lanao del Sur had a total of 484,435 registered voters with 421,057 who actually voted according to the provincial certificate of canvass while Maguindanao had a total of 634,323 registered voters with 496,319 who actually voted. Basilan, on the other hand had 236,050 registered voters with 190,704 who actually votes.
In his preliminary conference brief, the Marcos camp said during the preliminary conference last July, they have eight witnesses to testify that no election ever took place in Lanao del Sur while two witnesses will testify for Maguindanao. On the other hand, 11 witnesses will be presented to testify that no election took place in Basilan.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal, lead counsel for Vice President Leni Robredo told the PET that allowing such election protest could disenfranchise a lot of voters.
In Lanao del Sur Robredo received 180,539 votes while Marcos received 56,243. For Maguindanao, Robredo received 220,125 votes while Marcos received 80,591 votes. JPV
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.