GMA News Online - Bongbong Marcos urges PET to order examination of Mindanao voter documents

News & Interviews
26 March 2019

By Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas | GMA News Online

Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. urged the Supreme Court to resolve his earlier motion for a technical examination of voter documents from Mindanao provinces that are not included in the three areas he chose for the first stage of his poll protest.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Marcos' lawyer, George Garcia, continued to allege that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) found "massive substituted voting" in the 2016 elections in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur.

Because of this, Marcos' camp asked the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to summon reports on the Comelec's technical examination of Voter’s Registration Records (VRR) and Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL) from 508 voting precincts in the three provinces.

The losing vice presidential candidate's team also asked the Court to investigate the Boards of Election Inspectors who served in the three Mindanao provinces, and to order Comelec to examine the signatures and thumbprints on the VRRs and EDCVLs on 2,756 protested clustered precincts in the same provinces.

Marcos said preserving the "vital documentary evidence" is crucial in supporting the third cause of action of his election protest: the annulment of 2016 poll results in the three Mindanao provinces due to "widespread terrorism, violence, force, threats, intimidation, pre-shading of ballots, and substitution of voters."

But Vice President Leni Robredo had opposed Marcos' original motion for the technical examination, saying it was "extremely premature' and a "deceitful way of circumventing" 2010 PET rules.

Through lawyers, she said that granting the motion would mean allowing Marcos to "unduly expand his pilot provinces," since Basilan, Lanao Del Sur and Maguindanao are not included in his three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

Robredo's team has claimed that Marcos has failed to gain a "substantial recovery" of votes in the manual recount of votes from the pilot provinces.

At the end of his pleading, Marcos' lawyers said more than 1,000 days have passed since he filed his election protest in June 2016.

"The May 13, 2019 elections is barely seven weeks away and we still do not know the true results of the last election," the motion claimed.

"Everyone will agree that three years is way too long to wait for the true results of something as important as the second highest position in the country," it added.

In response to the filing, Robredo's lawyer, senatorial candidate Romulo Macalintal said: "Huwag niyong paniwalaan iyan. Iyan ay espekulasyon lang ni Mr. Marcos at gusto lang niyang buhayin iyong kanyang protesta na sa ngayon ay malapit na sa kamatayan." —KG, GMA News