Bongbong Marcos: Leni’s claim on Comelec threshold for shading of ballots ‘misleading’
The camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos on Monday labeled as “misleading” Vice President Leni Robredo’s claim that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has justified the use of the 25 percent threshold for the shading of ballots.
In her motion for reconsideration, Robredo said a 25 percent threshold has been allowed under Comelec Resolution 16-0600 and its supporting annexes.
The Vice President added that the Comelec, in September 2016, has informed the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) about its use of the 25 percent threshold in determining the valid votes.
However, Marcos said “there is no categorical declaration in Comelec Resolution No. 16-0600 that the 25 percent shading threshold was adopted by the Comelec in determining the valid votes during the judicial recount and revision of ballots in an election protest.”
“Protestee Robredo argued that the application of the 25 percent shading threshold percentage in determining whether a vote is valid finds legal basis in Comelec Resolution No. 16-0600 and its supporting annexes. This is misleading,” the comment stated.
They added that even the Random Manual Audit Guideline submitted by Robredo herself mentioned that “human eyes are less perceptive than the VCM (vote counting machines), hence, it is only logical that the standard shading threshold for purposes of visual (manual) appreciation of votes by the revision/recount committees in election protest cases should be higher than the proposed 25 percent shading threshold for it to be perceived by the human eyes.”
The former Senator said the PET is correct in its April 10 ruling stating that the Comelec’s procedure for the recount of ballots in election protest did not mention a 25 percent threshold.
Marcos added that even after the Comelec resolution has been amended and removed the 50 percent threshold, “it did not impose a new threshold on the oval shading.”
He also said it was “wrong, premature and speculative” for Robredo to claim that the 50-percent threshold would influence the results of the manual recount in his three pilot provinces.
The former Senator also accused Robredo of laches, or unreasonably delaying the assertion of a right, since she only asked for the application of the 25-percent standard after the manual recount started.
The PET started the recount last April 2 and said it could not determine yet when the recount would be finished.
The recount will be conducted Monday until Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with two 15-minute breaks and a one-hour lunch break.
The time limit per ballot box with less than 300 votes will be 5.5 hours while for 300-700 votes will be 8.25 hours and for more than 700 votes will be 11 hours.
During the revision, the head revisor will segregate and examine the contents of each ballot box and on the basis thereof, determine the number of votes received by each party.
At the same time, the party representatives will be allowed to claim and object to ballots, as they deem necessary.
If the revision committee fails to comply with the time limit, they shall proceed to revise another ballot box and the parties shall be deemed to have waived their right to claim or object to the remaining ballots.
Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May that year.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clusters, covering 27 provinces and cities.
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. /vvp
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