By Tetch Torres-Tupas | Inquirer.net
The camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), denying with finality the bid of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to reverse its earlier ruling finding sufficiency in Marcos’ election protest.
“This is already a denial of the motion for reconsideration,” Marcos’ counsel Atty. George Garcia said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Garcia said they are happy with the decision because the election protest could begin to roll especially with the PET’s order to retrieve the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia in three pilot provinces to start revision and recount.
Robredo’s motion for reconsideration insisted that the poll protest file by Marcos should be dismissed.
But the PET, in its Aug. 29, 2017 resolution said Robredo’s motion for reconsideration failed to raise new issues that would warrant a reversal of its earlier ruling.
The PET said “(f)inally, it is well to stress that the Motion for Reconsideration essentially restates the arguments contained in protestee’s Verified Answer and Counter-Protest, and these have already been duly considered and passed upon by the Tribunal in the Resolution dated January 24, 2017. The Tribunal finds no cogent reason to discuss these matters any further.”
In the same ruling, the PET also ordered the retrieval of all the ballot boxes and election paraphernalia in Marcos’ three pilot provinces, namely Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental to start the revision and recount.
It also granted the motion of Marcos to decrypt and print the ballot images from the SD cards of the three pilot areas in order to help the Tribunal in the prompt disposition of the protest and assist protestant in the preparation of the recount proceedings and the presentation of his evidence.
“This is already a welcome development because we can already have access and analyze the ballot images,” Garcia said.
The same ruling, however, limited Marcos’ protest to only two causes of action as it dismissed the first cause of action which called for the nullification of the results of the vice presidential race because of a “flawed Automated Election System (AES).
Garcia said that while they want the PET to look into the anomalies on the implementation of the AES, they respect its ruling and appreciate its effort to expedite the proceedings.