By Danny Estacio | Manila Bulletin
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is demanding that three hearing officers be designated to tackle each of the main issues he raised in his election protest against the victory of Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo in last year’s national polls.
Speaking as the guest of honor at Monday’s opening of the Pahiyas Festival here, Marcos said his lawyers have asked the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidental Electoral Tribunal (PET), to designate at least three hearing officers to assist the Tribunal during the preliminary conference in a bid to expedite the much-delayed election protest proceedings.
He said the seven-page Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Designate Hearing Commissioners was filed through his counsel George Erwin Garcia. Earlier, the Tribunal had set the preliminary conference on June 21, 2017 at 2 p.m.
Marcos had raised three main issues in his election protest: The “flawed” Automated Election System (AES); the failure of elections in several provinces in Mindanao; and the unauthorized introduction by Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia of a new hash code (or a new script/program) into the Transparency Server on the day of the elections.
Marcos said the designation of at least three hearing commissioners “will better facilitate an orderly, simplified and expeditious disposition of this electoral contest considering that there are three causes of action raised in this election protest.”