PET defers anew ballot recount in VP poll protest
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has deferred anew the recount of votes related to the protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
All parties to the case met on Tuesday and discussed the matter.
According to Atty. Beng Sardillo, one of the counsels of Robredo, the recount was deferred to a later date to prepare the logistics of the recount.
“We expect to be called for another meeting soon to finalize arrangements. We trust the PET in these proceedings as it is in our best interest to finish this protest to quash any doubt about the choice of the Filipino people and the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo,” she said in a message to reporters Wednesday.
The rescheduling of the recount was also confirmed by the Marcos camp.
“Unfortunately for us, yes postponed again. Reason of PET is only 42 of the 50 revisors have qualified/passed the psychological exam,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez, one of the lawyers of Marcos said in text message to reporters also on Wednesday.
Rodriguez said PET informed them that whether the remaining eight slots for revisors will be filled up or not, the manual recount will proceed on April 2.
The recount was expected to start February but it was moved to March 19 due to the need to conduct psychological evaluations of the revisors. The revisors are part of a committee that will examine the ballots subject of a protest.
Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May 2016.
He sought the annulment of about a million votes cast in three provinces – Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
In his preliminary conference briefing, Marcos also sought for a recount in Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
Robredo filed her answer in August last year and filed a counter-protest, questioning the results in more than 30,000 polling precincts in several provinces where Marcos won.
She also sought the dismissal of the protest for lack of merit and jurisdiction of PET.
The high tribunal junked Robredo’s plea and proceeded with the case after finding the protest sufficient in form and substance.
Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes. /je
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