ABS-CBN News - Robredo camp opposes recount of Mindanao votes

24 January 2019

By Adrian Ayalin | ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Vice-President Leni Robredo’s camp said it is “game over” for former senator Bongbong Marcos as her lawyer filed a supplemental manifestation before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to oppose Marcos’ request to proceed with the technical examination of ballots from Lanao Del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.

The manifestation filed by lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday, January 21, noted that no “substantial recovery” was made by Marcos from the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

“We are just telling the PET that insofar as the technical examination being requested by Mr. Marcos, as far as Ms. Robredo is concerned, it should not be granted,” Macalintal said.

Macalintal noted that in the revision of ballots in the pilot provinces, the numbers tallied with those from the election returns counted during the 2016 elections.

The manifestation pointed out that, when the 25 percent threshold for shading was implemented by the PET, the difference between the election returns count and the physical count for both Marcos and Robredo for the town of Zarraga in Iloilo was zero.

For Negros Oriental, the difference was 48 for Marcos and 22 for Robredo.

When the 50% threshold was still being used, the total difference for all three provinces was 1,629 for Marcos and 16,530 for Robredo.

“Nag-tally po ’yan, so ano nangyayari ngayon, nu’ng makita niya na wala s’yang ebidensya, gusto niya mag-technical exam sa probinsya ng Lanao, Basilan at Maguindanao,” Macalintal said.

He also clarified earlier statements by both Robredo and Marcos camps that, according to the notice he received from the PET, there was no suspension of recount as only the revision proceedings were halted because of wet ballots, in which case decrypted ballot images will be used.

“Hindi naman nakalagay na suspended ang recount because in an election protest, there is a revision of the ballots and the recount of ballots . . . dito revision lang ang sinasabi nilang ipagpapatuloy ng tribunal,” Macalintal said.

The PET has said in a statement that revision for the remaining ballots including the decrypted ballot images will resume on Monday, January 28.

Marcos counsel, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, meanwhile, dismissed the statements of Macalintal.

“We believe that all statements coming from Macalintal are nothing but a drive to earn “media mileage” in his quixotic effort to bring relevance to the carcasses of his senate bid,” Rodriguez said.

He added that it is only the tribunal that can decide on the merits of the electoral protest of Marcos against Robredo.

“Nakakaawa naman si Macalintal. As an officer of the Court it is clear to me that only the PET can determine whether we have sufficiently established our case to warrant the continuation of the manual recount and judicial revision in all other contested areas and no one else,” Rodriguez said.